Patrick McDowell: Medical experts testify in penalty phase for man who killed Nassau deputy

YULEE, Fla. — The man who shot and killed Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers in 2021 is still waiting to learn his fate.

After sitting through days of testimony, jurors will decide whether to recommend life in prison or death for Patrick McDowell.


Since the start of the penalty phase last Monday, jurors have listened to the state’s case, as well as more than two dozen witnesses the defense has called to testify, including family members and McDowell himself.

Action News Jax’s Alexus Cleavenger was inside the courtroom Tuesday morning as five witnesses testified, two of them medical experts.

One of whom spoke specifically about trauma and substance abuse.

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Dr. Daniel Buffington is a clinical pharmacologist and conducted a clinical interview with McDowell last October. He described what McDowell was going through during the time of the shooting.

“He was in a three-day binge of methamphetamine having these symptoms and his perception that an officer was out to get him, solely to get him, was not based in a reality,” Buffington said.

We also heard testimony from Amanda Mills, the lead case manager at Five Star Veterans Center.

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“He spoke about trying to be successful and be there for his son,” Mills said. “He was really goal-oriented wanting to get the VA and then also going back to work.”

But that was all before McDowell shot and killed Moyers.

Wednesday, we can expect the judge and attorneys for the state and the defense will develop a set of instructions for the judge to give to the jury before they can start deliberations.

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