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Live | Nassau County cop killer in court for first time since jury recommended death penalty

Live | Nassau County cop killer in court for first time since jury recommended death penalty

  • PublishedJune 3, 2024

On April 25, a jury recommended Patrick McDowell be put to death for killing Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Moyers during a traffic stop in 2021.

NASSAU COUNTY, FLORIDA, Fla. — The man who admitted to killing a Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputy during a traffic stop in 2021, will be back in court Monday morning for a new hearing.

Patrick McDowell pleaded guilty to killing Deputy Joshua Moyers on March 10, 2023. Eleven jurors voted for him to be put to death, while just one recommended he should receive a life sentence in prison in the penalty phase of his death penalty trial.

On May 17, McDowell and his attorneys filed a motion for a life sentence, stating the court “erred” on 20 occasions including denying the change in venue, allowed victim impact testimony and it disputes various parts of the state’s death penalty guidelines. 

Filing the motion came about three weeks after McDowell read a letter to jurors asking for the death penalty.

The memorandum for a life sentence cites McDowell’s service in the Marine Corp in Iraq and private contractor Triple Canopy, and subsequent PTSD. It referrs to “the violence against Deputy Moyers as an aberration of his behavior.” The document also referrs to his substance abuse prior to the deadly traffic stop and McDowell’s relationship with his teenage son. The document says McDowell is “extremely remorseful.”

The jury’s decision on April 25 came after three-and-a-half hours of deliberation. The trial itself lasted for 20 days.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said McDowell is a “liar, cheater, druggie and a murderer,” and that it was “proven in court.”

“He’s a cop killing, evil person, and he deserves to die a violent death just like he gave deputy Moyers. He does not deserve any better than that,” Leeper said.

Nassau County Public Defender Alan Chipperfield called Leeper’s statements “inappropriate.”

“It’s not a joyous occasion, should never be for anybody, when a human life is being taken,” Chipperfield told First Coast News.

A pair of jurors also shared their perspectives about the verdict.

After fatally shooting Moyers on Sept. 23, 2021, McDowell was captured about five days after the shooting following an extensive manhunt.

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