Joseph Colon, 37, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the overdose death of Savannah DeAngelis, 23.
by: Brittany Kershaw, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office; and Bryan Shorstein, Office of the State Attorney
A 37-year old drug dealer has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder in connection with the overdose death of a woman who died after consuming the drugs he'd sold her.
The defendant, Joseph Colon, was the first drug dealer in Flagler County to be tried under a 2017 Florida state statute amendment that allowed drug dealers to be charged with murder if their drug dealing results in a death. The opioids Colon sold had resulted in the death of Savannah DeAngelis, 23.
Colon was indicted by a grand jury on the charge of first-degree murder on Feb. 20, 2018.
On Aug. 31, 2020 — which is International Drug Overdose Awareness Day — Homicide Unit Prosecutor Jennifer Dunton secured a guilty plea to second-degree murder, whereby Colon was sentenced to 30-years in prison.
“The first drug dealer in Flagler County to be charged with murder in connection with a drug overdose was sentenced to 30 years in prison on International Drug Overdose Awareness Day. That is poetic justice,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in a press conference after the sentencing. “I hope that in some way this helps bring healing to the family of Savannah DeAngelis. I have a warning to other poison peddlers. We investigate every overdose death as a murder, and you will be next to go to state prison."
Staly and State Attorney R.J. Larizza were joined in the press conference by DeAngelis' father and mother, Charles and Reneé DeAngelis.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had responded to 19 Front Street in Palm Coast for the overdose on Oct. 28, 2017.
DeAngelis was unconscious and was taken to the Florida Hospital Flagler (now AdventHealth Palm Coast) and was placed on life support. Two weeks later, she died.
FCSO detectives found that Colon was seen on surveillance video entering DeAngelis’ subdivision on the morning of Oct. 28. Witnesses reported seeing a male driving a black Nissan stop in front of her residence.
DeAngelis ran to the car and was given something from within the vehicle. The vehicle then quickly left. A short time later, DeAngelis’ father found her unconscious on the bathroom floor with a syringe and a baggie containing heroin and Fentanyl.
Colon has been in the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility since Nov. 6, 2017, when he was arrested for trafficking in hydromorphone, possession of heroin, crack cocaine and Alprazolam with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone, and driving with a suspended license.
The grand jury’s first-degree murder indictment in February 2018 was served to Colon while he was in jail. He has remained there ever since.
The press conference following the Grand Jury indictment can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/flaglercounty.sheriffsoffice/videos/943199815854884.