Tuesday, January 13, 2015 8:07 pm EST
Andrew Howard Brannan was pronounced dead at 8:33 pm EST, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Andrew was 65 years of age. He was convicted of murdering 22-year-old Deputy Kyle Wayne Dinkheller on January 12, 1998, after being pulled over for a traffic violation near Dudley, Georgia. Andrew has spent the last 15 years of his life on Georgia’s death row.
Andrew had served in the military during the Vietnam War and had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder. Allegedly, due to his mental illness, Andrew’s marriage dissolved and he was unable to hold a steady job, leading to him living as a recluse and known for having a short temper, although he was also known to show kindness to widows and children in the neighborhood.
On January 12, 1998, Laurens County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Dinkheller clocked a pickup driving 98 miles per hour. Officer Dinkheller followed the vehicle with his lights on until the vehicle eventually pulled over. Per dash camera footage, Officer Dinkheller was seen exiting his vehicle. The driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Brannan, was observed opening and closing his door several times, as if debating whether to leave his vehicle. Instead of approaching the vehicle, Officer Dinkheller asked Brannan to exit his vehicle and approach him.
Brannan exited the vehicle and began walking towards Deputy Dinkheller, placing his hands in his pockets. Officer Dinkheller asked Brannan to removes hands from his pocket. Brannan became angry, swearing repeatedly at Officer Dinkheller and dancing in the street. Officer Dinkheller placed a call for backup, which further enraged Brannan, who charged at Officer Dinkheller. Officer Dinkheller told Brannan to stay back, striking him once with his baton. Brannan continued swearing at Officer Dinkheller, saying he was a “Vietnam combat veteran.” Brannan began rummaging in his vehicle, ignoring repeated instructions to stop.
Both men were heard stating that they feared for their lives. Brannan emerged from his vehicle with a .30 carbine rifle. Brannan aimed at Officer Dinkheller and fired. The two exchanged fire several times. As Officer Dinkheller attempted to reload his weapon, Brannan shot him several times in the chest, arm, back, and legs. Officer Dinkheller shot Brannan once in the abdomen. Brannan approached Officer Dinkheller, shooting hime twice in the head, killing him. Brannan then left the scene his truck.
Police discover Brannan hiding in the woods the following day. Brannan was arrested, charged, and eventually convicted and sentenced to death in 2000. Brannan confessed to the crime, but stated that Officer Dinkheller had provoked him with an aggressive and disrespectful approach.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Officer Dinkheller. Please pray for the family of Andrew Brannan. Please pray that if Andrew is innocent, the truth will be revealed before his execution.