A former Reading man, charged in Kenhorst in 2016 with hit and miss in a pedestrian accident that killed a 46-year-old man, was arrested after more than two years of manhunt in California.
Toy N. Powell, 45, was taken into custody in Sacramento on May 7th by US marshals on a warrant from the Berks County Sheriff.
Sgt. Jeremy Kalis of the sheriff’s warrant department said that MPs working on a task force with federal marshals have learned that Powell resides in Sacramento. They contacted the Marshal’s office there and the officers took Powell into custody.
The prosecution filed documents for Powell to be extradited to Pennsylvania.
On June 2, Berks’ deputy sheriffs flew to California to arrest Powell. The next day they returned with the defendant.
Powell was tried before District Judge David L. Yoch, who placed $ 1 million on bail that Powell was unable to set.
Powell remains in Berks County Prison awaiting a fatal accident hearing, failure to stop in an accident, failure to notify police of an accident, careless driving and unsafe speed driving on December 11, 2016, the death of Mark Holland of Reading.
Powell was declared a refugee on March 27, 2019 in a file held by Detective Michael P. Perkins, the lead investigator for the Reading Police Department.
The city police provide Kenhorst police services.
Perkins told Reading Eagle in an interview in July 2018, a year and a half after Holland’s body was found in the middle of the 1000 block of New Holland Road, that it looked like Powell had fallen off the ground.
His investigation showed that Powell enlisted the help of several friends to avoid responsibility for arriving in Holland around 1 a.m. on December 11, 2016.
Powell had ties to the Far Rockaway neighborhood of New York but had several children who lived in Reading, Perkins said at the time.
The Reading Police and the Berks Sheriff’s Office enlisted the help of the Reading Office of the Marshals Service and the volatile task force of the New York Department of Police.
Information on how long Powell had lived in Sacramento and whether he had ties to California was not available.
Powell was featured on the Reading Eagle’s weekly Wanted in Berks profile several times, most recently on May 2, five days before his capture. The refugees are presented for this role by the sheriff’s office.
After years in hiding, it was a clue to the sheriff’s office that led to his arrest, officials said.
Powell was charged after extensive investigations by the city police and the prosecutor’s forensic services who reconstructed the accident. Police interviewed several witnesses who detailed Powell’s efforts to evade responsibility for the accident.
According to investigators:
A witness told investigators that she and Holland had just left a nearby tavern when a speeding black car crossed Holland as they were crossing the street.
The car didn’t stop and continued south on New Holland Road, also known as Route 625.
Another witness, described as Powell’s friend, told police that Powell called him on the morning of December 11, 2016 and asked to meet at a local diner because he needed a favor.
Powell told the friend that he needed a lift to the Mohnton area because the night before he ran his car over on New Holland Road and escaped from the scene.
The friend drove Powell to the Mohnton area, where Powell’s black 2006 Infiniti was parked.
The next day, police found a black Inifinti registered with Powell behind houses on Pike Street’s 500 block, next to Charles Evans Cemetery in north Reading.
The car had damage to the front and human tissue on the underbody. Some parts were also missing.
These findings, along with other evidence and testimony, led Perkins to bring hit and run charges and related charges against Powell on February 8, 2017.
Holland’s father, Robert, of Coopersburg, Lehigh County, told Reading Eagle in 2018 that he found it unfathomable that Powell, who was previously convicted of a crime, was still a free man.
Attempts to contact Robert Holland about Powell’s capture were unsuccessful.
In 2018, Robert Holland said his son, who was divorced, left an 18-year-old son.
“I can still see his son standing there in the cemetery,” he said. “We know who did it. It really hurts. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t know.”
Robert Holland said his son came to him a few years ago after being released from an acute rehabilitation center after falling off the back of a garbage truck while working.