Court reinstates death penalty for man in Oklahoma slaying

James Pavatt, Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A federal appeals court has reinstated the death sentence of an Oklahoma man convicted in the fatal shooting of his lover’s estranged husband.

The full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday voted 10-3 to overturn a three-judge panel’s 2-1 ruling in 2017 that overturned the death sentence of 66-year-old James Pavatt on the grounds that the state failed to prove the November 2001 shooting death of Rob Andrew was “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”

Pavatt’s attorneys declined to comment.

Pavatt and Brenda Andrew were both convicted and sentenced to death after being arrested in February 2002 while crossing back into the United States from Mexico, where they had fled with Andrew’s two children following the shooting.

Rob was gunned down in the garage of his Oklahoma City home as he was picking up his two kids for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Rob and his wife, Brenda, were separated at the time of his death.

Prosecutors said Brenda and Pavatt killed Rob for the insurance money, and both were sentenced to death for the murder.

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