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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Indiana deputies who arrested a Powell man were tipped off that their suspect, arrested on separate charges, was possibly connected to a murder in Delaware County.
Brandon Toleque, 31, has a warrant for his arrest for the Nov. 13 murder of Arazeia Richardson of Columbus. However, he remains in jail in Marshall County, Indiana, on charges of resisting law enforcement, possession of cocaine or narcotic drugs, operating a vehicle with a suspended license and criminal confinement. His arrest stems from an incident on U.S. 30 near Michigan Road in Plymouth, at 6 a.m., when deputies attempted to pull him over for speeding.
According to Lt. Det. Les McFarland, Toleque attempted to evade authorities and led a pursuit that ended at a gas station about three miles away. As the During the investigation, deputies learned a passenger in the car Toleque was driving was there against her will. The passenger was seen trying to exit the vehicle multiple times during the chase.
Investigators believe Toleque fled to Indiana shortly after Richards died from a single gunshot wound. Powell Interim Chief of Police Ron Sallows said officers found Richardson’s body in The Chase subdivision at Thornbury Lane and Ascot Court. Sallows noted Richardson, who died from an apparent gunshot wound, and Toleque were friends, and the victim may have been alive as recently as Sunday night.
Marshall County authorities relayed the information to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, which then notified Powell police. An arrest warrant was then issued 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.
Toleque, who is also facing an aggravated menacing charge from September, is expected to be extradited to Ohio.