Jacksonville woman accused of trying to help Patrick McDowell pleads guilty to accessory after fact

McDowell charged with 1st-degree murder in death of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers

Breiana Tole appears during a virtual hearing Tuesday. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

A Jacksonville woman accused of trying to help a man suspected in the murder of a Nassau County deputy pleaded guilty Tuesday to accessory after the fact.

Breiana Tole, 28, will remain in the Nassau County jail, where she’s being held on $1 million bond. A status hearing is set for Oct. 20.

Tole could be called as a witness in the trial of Patrick McDowell, who’s accused of killing Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers, so both prosecutors and the defense would like to set her sentencing following that.

Tole was arrested Sept. 28. She is accused of driving to the sports complex where McDowell was hiding out in an attempt to get him out of the area and escape arrest, according to an arrest report.

TIMELINE: Events following shooting of Deputy Joshua Moyers, leading to arrest of Patrick McDowell

According to Tole’s arrest report, investigators were able to key in on her after monitoring various social media websites and tracking possible associates of McDowell.

Around 3 p.m. Sept. 27, McDowell messaged Tole from a newly created Facebook account and told her to call him, her arrest report shows. McDowell, who had been on the run since Sept. 24, told her he was in bad shape because he had been shot, according to the report.

“it’s not looking good. i need u more now than I’ve 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,” McDowell wrote in a Facebook message, according to the report.

Tole told him she would keep their conversation a secret.

“I won’t say anything to anyone. You have my word. I swear. I don’t trust the air around me, enough to gamble with your life. Let alone any person,” she wrote, according to the report. “Just tell me what to do, where to go. When to be wherever. What arrangement to make.”

McDowell then told Tole the latitude and longitude of his location and to meet him there at 6 a.m. Sept. 28. But when Tole drove down the road toward the sports complex to pick up McDowell, law enforcement was waiting, according to the report.

McDowell was found hiding out in a bathroom building at the Kirsten Higginbotham Sports Complex a short time later on Sept. 28, following a five-day man that began after he allegedly shot Moyers on Sept. 24. Moyers, 29, died from his injuries on Sept. 26.

Deputy Joshua Moyers is pictured.

At the time she was allegedly attempting to help McDowell, Tole knew that he was accused of killing Moyers, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.

Tole admitted to investigators that she was going to the sports complex to help McDowell, according to the report.

A search of Tole’s phone revealed a message to an unnamed person at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 where she contemplated going out to look for McDowell after the shooting.

The Sheriff’s Office told News4JAX that Tole was not the woman in a van with McDowell the night he allegedly shot Moyers twice during a traffic stop early Sept. 24.

McDowell, 35, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder. He’s pleaded not guilty.

He also faces a charge of injuring a police dog and eight counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

The state intends to seek the death penalty if he is convicted.

McDowell is being held in the Nassau County jail without bond, according to online jail records.

Nassau County court records show his next court date is Aug. 15.

Deputy Josh Moyers' handcuffs were used when arresting Patrick McDowell after a five-day search of western Nassau County. (Photo provided to WJXT)