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Viet vet executed for traffic-stop murder

2015-01-14 10:40

COP KILLING: Vietnam veteran Andrew Brannan is seen shooting at sheriff's deputy Kyle Dinkheller in 1998. Image: YouTube


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JACKSON, Georgia - A man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy who stopped him for speeding on a Georgia interstate highway was executed on Tuesday (Jan 13 2015)  for the 1998 killing which was captured on the patrol car's video camera.

Andrew Howard Brannan, 66, was pronounced dead at 8.33pm after a single-drug injection. He was convicted of the January 1998 shooting death of Kyle Dinkheller, a 22-year-old sheriff's deputy.

VIDEO: Vietnam vet shoots policeman 1998 (edited for sensitive viewers)

If you want to watch the whole video, click here.

Brannan said in a statement moments before the injection: "I extend my condolences to the Dinkheller family, especially Kyle's parents and his wife and his two children."


Lawyers for Brannan, a Vietnam veteran, had unsuccessfully argued to authorities to spare the man, saying the shooting was tied to mental illness directly traced to Brannan's military service.

Dinkheller had stopped Brannan for speeding and demanded he take his hands from his pockets during a traffic stop. Officials said Brannan then began cursing, dancing in the street, and saying "shoot me" before he rushed towards the deputy.

After a scuffle, Brannan pulled a high-powered rifle from his car and shot Dinkheller at least nine times, authorities said.

The confrontation was captured by a video camera in Dinkheller's patrol car and a microphone he wore. Parts including the scuffle between the two happened off-camera, according to court documents, but Dinkheller could be heard yelling orders at Brannan, who responded with expletives, authorities said.

Brannan could also be seen crouching by his car and firing at the deputy as Dinkheller yelled at him to stop. Brannan walked toward the patrol car, still firing, exhausted one magazine, reloaded and continued firing, authorities said.

Police found Brannan the next day hiding under a camouflage tarpaulin near his home. He had been shot in the stomach, apparently by Dinkheller.


Brannan volunteered to serve in the US Army in 1968 and received two Army Commendation Medals and a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War, the clemency petition said, adding he was repeatedly exposed to death and violence in Vietnam.

Veterans Administration doctors had diagnosed Brannan with post-traumatic stress disorder in 1984 and determined that his condition had deteriorated to the point of 100% disability by 1990, the petition said. That mental illness was compounded by bipolar disorder diagnosed in 1996, his lawyers added.

Brannan was convicted and sentenced to death in 2000. He challenged the legality of his conviction and sentence in 2003 and a state court judge threw out his sentence on grounds that his trial lawyer failed to present complete mental health defences.

The Georgia Supreme Court later rejected that ruling and reinstated the death sentence.

Read more on:    georgia  |  speeding  |  death sentence

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