PALM COAST, FL – On February 20, 2018, 37-year-old Joseph Christopher Colon was indicted by a Grand Jury on the charge of first-degree murder in the overdose death of 23-year-old Savannah DeAngelis. On August 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.
Sheriff Staly and State Attorney R.J. Larizza held a press conference following the sentencing. They were joined by Savannah’s father and mother, Charles and Reneé DeAngelis.
Press Conference August 31, 2020
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to 19 Front Street in Palm Coast for the overdose on October 28th, 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.
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Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Detectives investigated the case which revealed that Colon was seen on surveillance video entering DeAngelis’ subdivision on the morning of October 28th. 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.
Overdose Murder Press Conference – February 21, 2018
This was the first case in Flagler County where a drug dealer was charged with murder resulting from an overdose death. Florida State Statute 782.04 was amended on October 1, 2017, allowing drug dealers to be charged with murder if their drug dealing results in a death.
“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,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “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.”
Colon has been in the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility since November 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 of 2018 was served to Colon while he was in jail. He has remained there ever since.