POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) – The man who was accused of a Powell murder and was arrested in Indiana was also allegedly holding a woman in a car against her will at the time of his arrest.
According to documents from Delaware County Common Pleas Court, Marshall County, Ind. deputies pursued Brandon Toleque, who is charged with the murder of 33-year-old Arazeia Richardson, the morning of Nov. 15. In his car was a woman who told deputies that Toleque killed her boyfriend and raped her.
The documents state that deputies attempted to pull over Toleque during a routine traffic stop for speeding along U.S. Route 30 near Michigan Road in Plymouth, Ind. Lt. Det. Les McFarland wrote in an affidavit that Toleque attempted to get away from authorities, but ended the chase at a gas station about three miles away.
During the pursuit, deputies observed a woman trying to get out of the vehicle. She also waved her arms out the window at deputy cruisers, according to the affidavit.
After the chase, she told the deputies that she was being held against her will and that “(Toleque) killed my boyfriend.” The woman also said that Toleque told her he needed to “trust” her, before allegedly raping her twice in the car.
Investigators in Indiana believe that Toleque fled to the state after killing Richardson in Powell. Marshall County authorities relayed the information to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, who then notified Powell police.
Powell police visited Toleque’s home in the 200 block of Thornbury Lane, where they discovered Richardson’s body with a single gunshot wound to the left-rear torso area, on the lower-level floor of the residence. BCI Crime Scene agents found two 9mm pistols, one of which contained a mounted light.
Surveillance video obtained from a Ring camera showed Toleque, the female passenger, Richardson and two other individuals entering the residence on the evening of Nov. 12, according to the affidavit. The two individuals, a couple, according to the report, left later in the evening, followed by Toleque and the woman at 1:09 a.m. The video did not show Richardson leaving the home.
Investigators interviewed the two other people spotted on camera, who said that they witnessed Toleque in possession of a handgun with a light on it. They also said that Toleque and the woman, who may have been impaired, were being flirtatious, and they left the home feeling uncomfortable.
One of the witnesses told authorities that Toleque came to his residence and offered him $1,000 to help him with “something.” Statements from the couple matched each other and the Ring camera surveillance, according to police.
A judge then issued an arrest warrant for Toleque, who has twice served sentences out of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. In 2019, he pleaded guilty to weapons charges and received a sentence of 12 months of community control. In 2021, he was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to burglary.
Through the Delaware County Common Pleas Court, Toleque has also been convicted of aggravated robbery in 2012 and domestic violence in 2015.
Arazeia’s family said they are convinced something does not add up in this story. They say now they are looking for closure.
“My thing of it is here, is that we shouldn’t be playing with people’s lives. And in this case, I just feel that my nephew’s life was played with and it was cut short because of a game,” said Pastor Paul Mumford, Richardson’s uncle.
Arazeia’s sister, Lakeshia Richardson, told NBC4 that she was shocked and confused to find out her brother, a father of six, had been killed.
“If nobody knew anything else about him, he was fun and he loved life. He didn’t, we didn’t like to fight and argue,” Richardson said.
The family said they didn’t know much about Toleque, but did know he was supposedly friends with Richardson and his girlfriend.
“Like the detective says, it’s far from over,” Richardson said. “But you know, just me already knowing some past certain situations and the history of them going on and off and the problems they have. It does make me very angry.”
Toleque, who is also facing an aggravated menacing charge in Franklin County Municipal Court from September, is expected to be extradited to Ohio from Indiana.