GA Vietnam vet loses bid to stop execution on PTSD claim
(NBC News) - A decorated Vietnam veteran who argued he was suffering from post-traumatic stress when he killed a sheriff's deputy in 1998 lost a bid for clemency on the eve of his scheduled execution.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole declined to commute the death sentence of Andrew Brannan to life in prison after hearing from prosecutors and defense lawyers at a Monday hearing.
Brannan was convicted of murdering Laurens County deputy Kyle Dinkheller, who had stopped him for driving 98 mph.
Dash-cam video showed Brannan dancing in the street and saying "shoot me" before he pulled a rifle from his car and fatally shot the 22-year-old cop nine times.
His lawyers argued in a clemency petition that the jury did not get all the details of his military service and mental illness. Brannan, who received two commendation medals and a Bronze Star, was diagnosed with PTSD in 1984 and with bipolar disorder a decade later.
Brannan's lawyer, Joe Loveland, said he was "profoundly disappointed" by the five-member parole board's decision, which came 24 hours before he is due to receive a lethal injection.
"The death of Deputy Sheriff Kyle Dinkheller was a terrible tragedy," Loveland said in a statement to NBC station WXIA. "Executing a 66-year-old decorated Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal record who was seriously ill at the time of the crime only compounds the tragedy."