Patrick McDowell pleads not guilty in murder of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers

Breiana Tole, who investigators say tried to help McDowell evade arrest, pleaded not guilty to accessory after the fact.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — The man accused of killing Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers last month appeared before a judge Thursday morning on a first-degree murder charge.

Patrick McDowell, who is the sole suspect in Moyers’ murder, appeared via video conference at 11 a.m. from JSO headquarters in Duval County.

According to the sheriff’s office, McDowell shot the deputy twice during a traffic stop on Sept. 24 in Callahan. Moyers died of his injuries two days later.

McDowell was captured at a baseball field a few miles from the shooting five days later after a massive multi-agency manhunt.

In addition to a first-degree murder charge, the 35-year-old faces multiple counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and a charge of injuring a K9.

McDowell pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced earlier this month that the state intends to seek the death penalty.

Breiana Tole, who is accused of trying to help McDowell evade arrest during the search, appeared virtually before a judge from the Nassau County jail. Tole is accused of trying to help McDowell evade arrest by driving to the sports field where he was hiding, according to deputies.

Tole, 27, faces a charge of felony accessory after the fact. She pleaded not guilty.

Their trials are set for March 22, 2022.

Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

Samantha Mathers is a digital reporter and content creator.