Woman accused of trying to help suspect in deputy's death

Officials say a 27-year-old woman is accused of trying to help a man suspected in the fatal shooting a Florida sheriff’s deputy get away

ByThe Associated Press
September 29, 2021, 11:30 AM

CALLAHAN, Fla. -- A woman is accused of trying to help a man suspected in the fatal shooting a Florida sheriff's deputy get away.

Breiana Tole, 27, drove to Callahan, which is north of Jacksonville, on Tuesday to help Patrick McDowell escape, according to Nassau County Sheriff's officials. But a team of law enforcement officers captured McDowell, 35, at a ball park, and used the handcuffs of Deputy Joshua Moyers while taking him into custody.

Moyers was shot in the face and back early Friday when he pulled over a vehicle driven by McDowell, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a news conference Tuesday. Moyers died Sunday as a massive manhunt for McDowell was underway.

A judge on Wednesday morning set a $1 millon bond for Tole, who is charged with accessory after the fact in the deputy's killing.

“The defendant in this particular case, knowing full well that Mr. McDowell was wanted for the murder of a law enforcement officer, and who had been in communication with Mr. McDowell while he was fleeing law enforcement in Nassau County, yesterday drove to Nassau County with the intent to assist and aid Mr. McDowell with his escape and avoiding apprehension,” prosecutors told the judge Wednesday.

McDowell is also accused of shooting a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K-9 on Friday, the sheriff said.

McDowell was taken to the hospital after his arrest Tuesday. The sheriff said McDowell had been shot by officers several nights earlier as they chased him through the woods. McDowell had reached out to people to help him because of injuries to his leg, the sheriff said.

While McDowell did not appear in court Wednesday, a judge set no bond in his case.

The sheriff said more people who tried to help McDowell may be arrested.

Records did not indicate the names of lawyers who could speak on behalf of McDowell or Tole.

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