The investigation on the behavior of a specimen under uniaxial tension and the process of microfracture attracts considerable interest with a view to understanding strength characterization of brittle materials. Little attention has been given to the detailed investigation of influence of heterogeneity of rock on the progressive failure leading to collapse in uniaxial tension. In this paper, a numerical code RFPA3D (Realistic Failure Process Analysis), newly developed based on a three-dimensional model, to simulate the fracture process and associated fractal characteristic of heterogeneous rock specimen subjected to direct uniaxial tension. Specimens with different heterogeneity are prepared to study tension failure. In a relatively homogeneous specimen, the macrocrack nucleates abruptly at a point in the specimen soon after reaching peak stress. In more heterogeneous specimens, microfractures are found to appear diffusely throughout the specimen, and the specimens show more ductile failure behavior and a higher residual strength. Development of fractal theory may provide more realistic representations of rock fracture. The fractal dimension of distributed AE is computed during the fracture process. For all specimens, the fractal dimension increases as the loading proceeds, and it reaches the peak value when macrocrack nucleates abruptly. It is also found that fractures scatter more diffusely in relatively heterogeneous specimens, and the fractal dimension has a smaller value. The homogenous rock specimens have flat and smooth rupture faces which are consistent with the fractal results.