‘Married to Evil: Officer Down’ in Investigation Discovery details how 42-year-old Andy Kimbrel was murdered in his Gardendale, Alabama, condo in May 2019. Although the killer was apprehended almost instantly by police, it took the tragic testimony of two impressive witnesses to convict the killer. Here’s what we know about the case, including the identity of the killer and his current whereabouts.
How did Andy Kimbrel die?
Officer Andrew “Andy” Wade Kimbrel was born on March 29, 1977, in Pleasant Grove, in western Jefferson County, Alabama, to Renda Kimbrel and the late Terry Kimbrel. His humility, kindness and sense of humor were praised by his family and co-workers. When his father passed away when Lindsey was 10 and Andy was 16, his sister Lindsey Kimbrel Keener revealed that it was his brother who took most of the responsibility. According to her, Andy had always wanted to join the police department and that his love for people and his giving nature helped him succeed in his chosen field.
Family members claim Andy began his civic duty by volunteering for the town of West Blocton. He joined the Fairfield Police Department in 2001 after completing the Tuscaloosa Police Academy. He began working for the Vestavia Hills Police Department the following year, initially serving as an evidence technician and patrol officer. In the episode, it was discussed how Andy discovered his calling after accepting the position of School Resource Officer at Vestavia West Elementary School, where he made a number of lifelong friends.
At Vestavia High School, he also worked as a school resource officer. In early 2019, Andy returned to serving and defending the locals of Vestavia Hills in his capacity as a patrol officer. He received the Vestavia Hills Police Department Officer of the Year Award for his outstanding performance over the course of a nearly two-decade tenure, during which he served valiantly and saved numerous lives. Andy was characterized by Lindsey as a strong and devoted father. Also, he loved Alabama football and has always had a passion for car customization.
As a result, the shooting death of the 42-year-old man at his Woodbrook apartments on May 2 was shocking. Emergency personnel arrived at Andy’s Gardendale residence after his distraught wife called 911 and discovered him there barely alive with a gunshot wound to the head in the back of her walk-in closet. He was transferred in critical condition to the UAB Hospital and received treatment for brain injuries. He had been shot with his Glock, which was the usual service weapon, according to police sources. The next day, May 3, at dawn, he died from his injuries.
Who killed Andy Kimbrel?
The show claimed that Andy and Misty Dawn Kimbrel, his first wife, were high school sweethearts. Lindsey remembered how deeply the young couple had fallen in love and how her brother’s joy at the birth of her daughter knew no bounds. Emma Kate Kimbrel was a baby when her mother passed away due to a medical condition. According to family sources, Misty passed away on November 24, 2005, and Andy’s co-workers recalled how she completely devastated him.
Some ten years later, in 2015, at a nearby carnival, Andy met Stephanie Nicole Keller after a brief second marriage. The single parents seemed to be at the same stage in life when they met because Stephanie’s son, Thomas Andrew Kimbrel, was the same age as Emma, according to Lindsey. Before getting married in late 2017 without telling her family, they dated for about two years. The sister argued that since she was sure that Andy would not have made such an important decision without consulting them first, she was showing possible manipulation on Stephanie’s part.
However, the couple’s marriage was an unhappy one as they argued all the time. The discussions never ended, according to Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Lauren Breland. They were not aggressive. Andy never physically hurt Stephanie. Although he never touched her, their relationship was one of constant verbal and emotional conflict. Shortly after they got married, Stephanie hired a personal trainer, and Andy thought he was having an affair. According to reports, she had previously physically abused him by grabbing him by the neck.
According to Lindsey, Andy would frequently drive to his mother’s house after having a disagreement with his wife, and Stephanie would soon follow. The sister claimed that her sister-in-law was “an expert at pushing Andy and getting him to react” and that she was very manipulative. She claimed that Stephanie kept Andy away from her family and that once, during an apparent domestic incident, they noticed scratch marks on his neck. According to court records, the couple began fighting again on May 2, 2019, and the argument lasted nearly 24 hours.
Money and jealousy were the only really private issues in the dispute, which was gaining momentum. When her parents argued, 13-year-old Emma claimed that she and her stepbrother Thomas were in her room across the hall. She said that Andy intended to spend the night with her, but he never left. According to the teen’s testimony, he texted her to lock the door and ordered her to lock it “because she (Stephanie) was crazy.” I heard her say, “Give me the gun,” Emma said. I’ll kill you. She also brought up her father’s supposed response: “Do it then.”
According to Emma, she heard a creak coming from her parents’ bedroom and then “a pop”. She asked Steve Foshee, her maternal grandfather, to pick her up out of fear. Stephanie also called Steve when she was on her way to ask him to pick up the kids, but she gave no further instructions. She later testified in court: “I asked: ‘Is it bad?’ and she (Stephanie) said, ‘That’s too bad.’” The police questioned Stephanie while Andy was still in the hospital, where her condition was critical. She said that when her husband “pushed” her gun into her hand, she fired.
The woman allegedly changed her account multiple times to include a battle over the gun, according to investigators. They also alleged additional inconsistencies, such as her claims that she dropped the gun immediately after firing it, followed by later claims that she held it for a brief period of time before placing it next to her wounded husband. Ella Stephanie Ella admitted to washing her hands of her before the police showed up when they told her they found a bloody handprint on her toilet seat. She was arrested after Andy’s death and charged with murder.
Where is Stephanie Keller now?
The prosecution claimed that Stephanie shot Andy on purpose at trial in late October 2021 as a result of the ongoing marital dispute. However, her defense attorneys claimed the shooting was unintentional. The main witnesses for the prosecution were the children, with Emma describing how her stepmother reportedly routinely threatened and beat her biological father. Although her marriage had some difficulties, the defense said her client was devastated, saying, “She certainly never intended for something like this to happen.”
The most incriminating testimony came from Emma, who claimed to have heard her father say something to the effect of, “If you think I’m a bad person, why don’t you shoot me?” In response, Stephanie allegedly said, “Give me your gun.” Due to her lack of remorse, the court found Stephanie guilty of manslaughter for Andy’s death and sentenced her to 20 years. The 48-year-old woman is incarcerated at the Montgomery Women’s Facility, according to government records. Although her prison sentence expires in 2041, she will be eligible for parole in 2028.
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