Case Files: The Sunday School Killers



BRENDA EVERS ANDREW

Brenda Evers was born on December 16, 1963. She grew up in a seemingly idyllic home in Enid, Oklahoma. The Evers were devout Christians who enjoyed gathering for family meals, holding group prayers, and living a quiet life. Brenda was a good student who always earned above-average grades.


As she got older, friends remembered her as a shy, quiet girl who spent much of her spare time at church and helping others. In junior high, Brenda took up baton twirling and attended local football games but unlike her friends, once the games ended, she skipped the parties and headed home.


Rob and Brenda Meet

Rob Andrew, then a high school senior, met Brenda through his younger brother. He was swimming in the pool when his brother came over and told him that there was a lifeguard that wanted to meet him. That life guard was Brenda. The two began seeing each other and were soon dating exclusively and into their college years.


Brenda enrolled in college in Winfield, Kansas, but a year later, she transferred to OSU in Stillwater in order to be closer to Rob who was at OSU for advertising. The couple married on June 2, 1984, and lived in Oklahoma City until Rob accepted a position in Texas as an advertising executive, where they relocated.


After a few years, Rob yearned to return to Oklahoma, but Brenda was happy with life in Texas. She had a job she liked and had formed solid friendships. The relationship began to sour when Rob accepted a job at an advertising agency in Oklahoma City. There, he handled big name clients, including Disney, and held down a 6 figure income.


Brenda decided to stay in Texas. The couple remained separated for a few months, but eventually, Brenda decided to move back to Oklahoma as well, and the pair bought a large 2 story home within a very nice, prominent neighborhood.


A Stay-at-Home Mom Comes Undone

On December 23, 1990, the Andrews welcomed their first child, Tricity, and with that, Brenda became a stay-at-home mom—leaving her job and work pals behind. Four years later, their second child, Parker, was born, but by then Rob and Brenda's marriage was in deep trouble as Brenda was a stay at home mother and Rob was gone on business for months at a time, Brenda began to feel lonely and disconnected from her partner.


She had grown exponentially resentful towards Rob and began acting out.


Extramarital Affairs

By 1994, Brenda seemingly had undergone a transformation and in no other better terms, had "lost her religion." The once shy, conservative woman swapped her modest attire for a more provocative look that was usually tight, short, and revealing.


This began with simple trips out where she would dress up like she was going to a party, she would call a sitter and tell them she needed to go grocery shopping alone, and later wouldn't come back with any groceries. At first, she was simply just going out and about but later she determined that she wanted to experience more than just her husband, if you get my drift... and she began a series of affairs. She was looking for 50 Shades of Gray, to say the least.


  • The husband's friend: In October 1997, Brenda began an affair with Rick Nunley, the husband of a friend she'd worked with at an Oklahoma bank, and Rick would go on hunting trips with Rob. According to Nunley, the affair lasted until the following spring, although the two continued to stay in contact by phone afterwards. Rob had actually become aware of this affair by early 1998 as he drove by Rick's house and saw Brenda's car there. He became enraged and got out of his car, went up to the door and knocked. After minutes with no answer, Brenda finally came to the door. She claimed she was there to help Rick's daughter bake cookies. Since he could not prove anything, he left without a fight. Soon Brenda ends her affair with Rick.

  • The Guy at the Grocery Store: In 1999, James Higgins, married and working at a grocery store, met Brenda. James was married to his high school sweetheart and was seemingly happy in his marriage. Brenda took this as a sort of challenge to make him cheat. Higgins later testified that Brenda showed up at the store in low-cut tops and short skirts and they flirted with each other. She came back day after day and One day, she handed Higgins a key to a hotel room and told him to meet her there and said "you passed the test." And he did, in fact, meet her there.

  • The affair continued for 6 months, meeting several times a week until May 2001, when she told him, "It wasn't fun anymore." They remained friends, and Higgins was hired to do household renovations for the Andrews. Higgins said Brenda had "an insatiable appetite for sex."


The END ALL: Brenda begins teaching Bible study at church and 2 years later Brenda seems to be a changed woman that had meet all her sexual needs and goes back to being her old self again. Then The Andrews met James Pavatt, a life insurance agent, and the newest member of her church congregation at North Pointe Baptist Church. Pavatt and Rob became friends, and Pavatt actually spent time with the Andrews and their children at the family home. Pavatt was also in the military, and the attraction that Brenda kindles for him is all in his bad boy persona. He could often be overheard bragging about his covert operations and how many people he had killed while serving. Brenda ate this up, and she reverted to her sexual deviance.


In mid-2001, Pavatt, who had been teaching sunday school alongside Brenda, brings his work to church and begins searching to clients there. He finds of the first church clients in Rob, and helps Rob set up a life insurance policy worth $800,000 that named Brenda as sole beneficiary. Around the same time, Brenda and Pavatt launched a steamy affair. By all accounts, they did little to hide it—even at church. In fact, one sunday, as they sat in the pew, Rob on one side of Brenda and Pavatt on the other, church goers begin to notice that Brenda and Pavatt are acting more like the married couple than her and her husband. Just out of Rob's view, they were holding hands and brushing each other's legs, etc. The preacher took Rob aside and asked him if something was going on with them.

Rob began confiding about his failing marriage to his friends and pastor. He had told them that he was really worried for their marriage and that they had not had sex in years, and he had been sleeping on the couch. Friends would later testify that Brenda was verbally abusive to Rob, often telling him that she hated him and that their marriage had been a mistake. Being a christian, Rob wanted to save the marriage, as he thought this was the only choice he had.

Sept 16th, 2001: Rob confronts Pavatt in the church parking lot after service and tells him to leave him and his wife alone. Brenda and Pavatt were soon told their services as Sunday school teachers were no longer needed. She blamed Rob and his confrontation with Pavatt. She actually kicked Rob out of the house for this reason, and she soon files for divorce in early October.


Once the divorce papers were filed, Brenda became more vocal about her disdain for her estranged husband. She told friends that she hated Rob and wished that he was dead. By then, Pavatt had divorced his wife, Suk Hui. Evidence would later show that Brenda bought her a plane ticket out of the country.


Planning an Accident

On October 26, 2001, a few days before his divorce proceedings, Rob leaves his apartment and gets in his car. He begins to drive and realises that someone has severed the brake lines on his car. He makes it to a mechanics shop where they make this discovery.

Later that morning, just after his car is fixed, Rob gets a couple telephone calls by two different people saying Brenda and his kids had been in a car accident and were in the hospital. He rushed to the hospital where they are nowhere to be found and haven't been admitted at all. He then figures that someone wanted him to rush to his car where the breaks were out, and then rush to the ER but be in such a panic over this news that he would be traveling at a high rate of speed, unable to stop because of the breaks. Someone is trying to kill him. Rob met with the police and told them that he suspected that his wife and Pavatt were trying to kill him for insurance money. There was nothing police could do at that point.


According to Janna Larson, Pavatt's daughter, her dad persuaded her to call Rob from an untraceable phone and claim that Brenda was in a hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, and needed him immediately. An unknown male caller phoned Rob that morning with the same news.


The Insurance Policy

Divorce Hearing: 5 days after the break incident, Rob meets Brenda for their divorce proceedings. He ends up giving her everything in hopes of making her happy enough to not try anything again. She takes the house with a paid of mortgage, the kids, and money, but he refuses to leave Brenda on as the beneficiary to his life insurance, insisting it be changed to his kids. She reportedly gets very angry and lashes out. She can be heard screaming "it's mine!"

Rob tries to remove Brenda from his life insurance policy and make his brother the new beneficiary. Pavatt, however, told Rob the policy couldn't be changed because Brenda owned it.


It was later discovered that Brenda and Pavatt had attempted to transfer ownership of the insurance policy to Brenda without Rob's knowledge by forging his signature and backdating it to March 2001.


Not willing to take Pavatt's word, Rob called Pavatt's supervisor, who assured him that he was the owner of the policy. Rob confided to the supervisor that he thought Pavatt and his wife were trying to kill him. When Pavatt discovered Rob had spoken to his boss, he flew into a rage, warning Rob not to try to get him fired from his job.

At this point, Brenda and Pavatt believe their forgery worked, when in fact, it did not.


Fateful Thanksgiving Holiday

On November 20, 2001, Rob went to pick up his children for Thanksgiving. It was his turn to be with the kids. According to Brenda, she met Rob in the driveway and asked if he could come into the garage and light the pilot on the furnace.


Prosecutors believe that when Rob bent down to light the furnace, Pavatt shot him once, then handed Brenda the 16-gauge shotgun. She took the second shot, ending 39-year-old Rob Andrew's life. Pavatt then shot Brenda in the arm with a .22-caliber handgun in an effort to cover up the crime.


Brenda called 911. (I've heard the tape. She seems way to collected and not distraught at all.)

When police arrived, Brenda told them that two armed, masked men dressed in black had attacked Rob in the garage and shot him, then shot her in her arm as she fled. Brenda was taken to a hospital and treated for what was described as a superficial wound. Her behavior seemed strange. She was seemingly hyperventilating when speaking with police, but then would just stop and calmly talk. She was also asked what the robbers said to her. She said she couldn't remember but they did talk. Police found this odd. She also showed no concern for her husband. Police stated that she didn't ask them one time if he was alive or dead.


The Andrews' children were found in a bedroom watching television with the volume turned up very high. They had no idea what had happened. Investigators also noted with suspicion that it didn't appear as if they were packed and ready to spend the weekend with their father.


The Investigation

Investigators were told that Rob owned a 16-gauge shotgun but that Brenda had refused to let him take it when he moved out. They searched the Andrews' home but didn't find the shotgun.


The next door neighbors were out of town when the murder took place, but upon coming back home they found odd things askew in the the house and called police. a search of the Andrews' next-door neighbors' home revealed there was no forced entry, and someone had entered the attic through an opening in a bedroom closet. A spent 16-gauge shotgun shell was found on the bedroom floor, and several .22-caliber bullets were found in the attic. There were no signs of forced entry.


The neighbors had left Brenda a key to their house. The shotgun shell found in the neighbors' home was the same brand and gauge as the shell found in the Andrews' garage. The assumption was that after the murder, the killer had took refuge in their home to wait for police to leave. This person being Pavatt, who was given the key by Brenda.


The next piece of incriminating evidence came from Pavatt's daughter, Janna, who had lent her car to her father on the day of the murder after he'd offered to have it serviced. When her father returned the car the following morning, Janna realized that it hadn't been serviced—and found a .22-caliber bullet on the floorboard.


The .22-caliber round in Janna's car was the same brand as the three .22-caliber rounds found in the neighbors' attic. Pavatt told her to throw it away. Investigators later learned that Pavatt had purchased a handgun the week before the murder.

Robs shotgun is never recovered, nor is the shotgun that killed him. It is considered fact that the 2 shotguns are one in the same.

9 days after the murder, Pavatt and Brenda were formally charged with murder and a warrant put out for their arrest. When they go to arrest them, they had vanished.


On the Run

Rather than attending Rob's funeral, Brenda, her two children, and Pavatt took off to Mexico. Pavatt called Janna repeatedly from Mexico, asking her to send money—unaware his daughter was cooperating with the FBI's investigation into the murder and her phone was tapped. They threatened death of her and her family if she didn't send money, but she had non to send.


In late February 2002, having run out of funds (and a hold placed on all accounts by police), Pavatt and Brenda re-entered the United States and were arrested in Hidalgo, Texas. The following month they were extradited to Oklahoma City. The makeshift couple had been living out of that car for months.


So what actually happened?

Brenda asks Rob to light her pilot light in the garage. While bent over doing so, Pavatt comes in and shoots him with his own shotgun, then he turns to Brenda and shoots her with the pistol to make it seem like she is also a victim. He then runs to the neighbors home, unlocks it with the key Brenda gave him and hides until the police leave. In the mean time, Brenda calls 911.


Trials and Sentencing

James Pavatt and Brenda Andrew were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. In separate trials, they were both found guilty and received death sentences. Brenda has never shown remorse for her part in the murder of her husband and claims she is innocent.


On the day Brenda was formally sentenced, she looked directly at Oklahoma County District Judge Susan Bragg and said that the verdict and sentence were an "egregious miscarriage of justice," and that she was going to fight until she was vindicated.


On June 21, 2007, Brenda's appeal was denied by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals by a vote of four to one. Judge Charles Chapel agreed with Andrew's arguments that some of the testimony at her trial should have been inadmissible.



On April 15, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Andrew's appeal of an earlier court decision upholding her conviction and sentence without comment. While no executions have been carried out in the state since 2015, Brenda Andrew remains on death row in the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma.

A date had been set for Brenda's execution, but the state, in 2015, was trying to move from lethal injection to a gas chamber and several death row inmates got temporary stays. Brenda Evers Andrew currently does not have a set date for execution and is the only woman currently on death row in Oklahoma.

The Twist?

It's later discovered that after Pavatt took out the insurance policy on Rob and named Brenda as the sole interiter, Brenda went to another life insurance agent and took out a policy on Pavatt for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Brenda had never intended to live happily ever after with Pavatt after all.

SOURCES:


  • Andrew v. States of Oklahoma Appellant v. State

  • Andrew v. Moham versus warden

  • https://www.oxygen.com/crime-time/Brenda-Andrew-and-James-Pavatt-The-Sunday-School-Killers

  • https://forensicfilesnow.com/index.php/tag/sunday-school-killers/

  • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2393321/ Scorned: Love Kills (Season 1, Ep 13)

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsDncKoDtYc

  • https://www.thoughtco.com/death-row-inmate-brenda-andrew-profile-973493

  • https://oklahoman.com/article/1278805/family-begs-for-murderers-life

  • https://oklahoman.com/article/1273855/brenda-andrew-jurors-see-video-of-interview

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