Sheriff’s deputies charge woman with murder in drug overdose | Local News

A 44-year-old Floral City woman has been charged with first-degree murder, according to a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Sheriff’s deputies apprehended Delia Marie Dean on Monday, May 24, for the murder of 48-year-old Jonathan Michael Bishop of Inverness as a result of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (Fentanyl) which resulted in Bishop’s death April 20 in Inverness, the news release stated.

CCSO deputies were dispatched April 20 to a residence off West Hudson Street in Inverness in reference to a death. Upon arrival, the release stated, officials located Bishop in his room, where he was pronounced deceased due to obvious signs of rigor mortis. After speaking with the decedent’s mother and witness on scene, it was determined that the decedent did not have a known medical history that could have been attributed to his passing.

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While inside the residence, deputies noticed a white powdery substance in a line with a rolled-up bill next to it in the decedent’s bathroom. The powder was field-tested and yielded a positive result for the presence of fentanyl. Both the white powder and bill were collected for evidence. The decedent’s body was turned over to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

The toxicology report, which the sheriff’s office received Thursday, May 19, from the Medical Examiner’s Office, ruled the cause of death as a combined drug toxicity of fentanyl and alcohol.

During the investigation, detectives discovered Bishop had contacted Dean for illicit narcotics, which she provided him on numerous occasions. Detectives were then able to locate Dean just eight days after his death to question her about her interactions with Bishop and involvement in his illicit drug use. Dean admitted to supplying the decedent with narcotics on various occasions, specifically on the night of his death.

In 2021, Citrus County had 377 reported drug overdoses with 81 deaths, a 47% increase from 2020, Sheriff Mike Prendergast said.

“This case is a landmark case for us here in Citrus County,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. “As Gov. Ron DeSantis said after signing his bill into law last week to increase the penalties for those who illegally sell and distribute opioids in our state, Floridians of all walks of life have witnessed the destruction caused by the opioid epidemic across our state.

“Our office stands with Gov. DeSantis in his fight to end this deadly crisis and save lives. This case is just one of many more to come in our effort to hold those responsible for destroying our communities.”

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