OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s only female death row inmate lost her bid for a new trial.
Brenda Andrew was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Nov. 2001 shooting death of her husband, Rob Andrew. The jury recommended the death penalty.
Trial testimony showed Brenda Andrew and her lover, James Pavatt, fatally shot the father of two for insurance proceeds.
In a 2-1 decision the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver released its 143-page decision on Tuesday.
“Having reviewed the state court record and the constitutional errors alleged by Ms. Andrew in her habeas petition, it is evident that Ms. Andrew’s trial was not perfect. But it is just as evident that her trial was fundamentally fair, and that is all she was entitled to.”Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma (D.C. No. 5:08-CV-00832-R), Page 84-85
Justice Robert Bacharach dissented saying “Even if the trial had been fair, however, I would reverse as to the death sentence.”
“The district court resolved these factual issues without allowing an evidentiary hearing. In my view, the denial of an evidentiary hearing compels reversal as to the death sentence,” Bacharach wrote.
Andrew sought her appeal on 10 issues, including testimony about her sexual behavior.
Evidence introduced at trial were about Andrew’s affairs, coloring her hair red after learning that her husband’s friend preferred that color, someone called her a “hootchie” because she was dressed provocatively and the middle-age woman making sexual advances toward two college-aged males who were hired to fence her yard.
Andrew also possessed a book entitled “203 Ways to Drive a Man Wild in Bed”
In closing arguments prosecutors brandished Andrew’s black thong underwear insinuating “no true grieving widow would pack such underwear and leave for Mexico with her boyfriend,” the appeal states.
Andrew, Pavatt and the two Andrew children were on the run for almost three months instead of attending and taking the children to their father’s funeral.
The couple was taken into custody at the Mexico border when they tried to reenter the United States.
Pavatt was convicted in 2003 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to death. The Court of Criminal Appeals set his execution date for July 11, 2024.
Andrew’s execution date has not been set.