NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — Action News Jax is learning new information about the woman investigators said tried to help Patrick McDowell, the accused killer of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers, evade arrest.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office arrested Breiana Tole, 27, of Jacksonville, on Tuesday, the same day McDowell was captured at a baseball field in Callahan following a five-day manhunt.
McDowell was named as the suspect who shot Moyers twice, including once in the back, during a traffic stop in Callahan Friday morning.
Moyers later died Sunday of his injuries.
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Bill Leeper said McDowell had contacted multiple people for help since the massive search began, including a person in custody for helping him evade arrest during the manhunt.
According to an arrest report, that person was Tole. Court documents show multiple agencies were monitoring several social media websites, while tracking McDowell’s associates.
After the murder of Moyers, Tole tried to help McDowell by removing him from the area, NCSO stated.
On Monday, three days after Moyers was shot, NCSO said McDowell messaged Tole on a newly created Facebook account telling her to, “Accept the friend request I sent and call me and please don’t tell.”
“I need u more now than ive (sic) ever needed another living soul. I don’t beg, but I will be honest with you, without your help, I’m either gonna die out here from the wounds or they will kill me,” he added.
Tole responded saying, “I won’t say anything to anyone. You have my word. I swear” and “Just tell me what to do. Where to go. When to be wherever,” the arrest report stated.
Investigators said McDowell gave her the exact spot to meet him at. Tole drove to the baseball field in Callahan on Ball Park Road, but when she saw two NCSO patrol vehicles, deputies said she turned around and sped off.
She was later stopped by deputies.
Tole has been charged with accessory after the fact, which is a felony.
Deputies said she knew that McDowell was accused of murder and came to his location with the intent of helping him “avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial, or punishment,” the report stated.
“I definitely came out here trying to help him,” Tole told authorities. “I know he did something wrong,” she added.
On Wednesday, she appeared before a judge virtually for a court hearing.
Her bond has been set at $1 million. Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said that’s important to note.
“The fact that she is being kept under a million dollar bond speaks volumes about the degree of her involvement,” Carson said.
Carson has years of experience in law enforcement, including time with the FBI.
“If you knowingly assist someone who is charged with a capital offense, which means a death penalty case, you are subject to prosecution as a first degree felony, which holds up to 30 years in custody,” Carson said.
Action News Jax found the address of Tole’s mother and sister and knocked on the door for comment, but no one answered.
Action News Jax also did not find any previous arrests for Tole.
The sheriff’s office confirmed that Tole was not the woman who was with McDowell during the traffic stop. That woman has not been charged in the case.
McDowell faces premeditated first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a police dog, according to NCSO.
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