A man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy who stopped him for speeding on a Georgia interstate was put to death yesterday 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 at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted of the January 1998 shooting death of Kyle Dinkheller, a 22-year-old sheriff's deputy in Laurens County. "I extend my condolences to the Dinkheller family, especially Kyle's parents and his wife and his two children," Brannan said in a statement moments before the injection was administered. Lawyers for Brannan, a Vietnam veteran, had unsuccessfully argued to authorities to spare the inmate's life, saying the shooting was tied to mental illness directly traced to Brannan's military service.
Veterans Affairs 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. In the 1998 incident, Dinkheller stopped Brannan for driving 98mph 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 the deputy. After a scuffle, Brannan pulled a high-powered rifle from his car and shot Dinkheller at least nine times. Police found Brannan the next day hiding under a camouflage tarp near his home. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday denied a request to commute his sentence to life without parole. (Read more execution stories.)