It was a typical Saturday morning at the apartment complex in Forest Hill.
John Deisroth was watching the grandchildren and his wife had already gone to work when he went to wake up his son, Jon, and ended up breaking down his door.
"I didn't see him in bed, and I thought, 'Well maybe he got up and went out, but why is his door locked?'” said Deisroth, “I took two more steps and I almost fell over his body, and he was kneeling on the floor with his face down in the carpet."
Near the body, police discovered a capsule of heroin and fentanyl, and on his cell phone, they would discover texts to his girlfriend, 39-year old Lisa Charlton, arranging a drug deal the night before.
"She contacted their dealer who then drove to his residence and provided him with approximately seven caps of heroin and Fentanyl that day that did kill him," said Capt. Lee Dunbar of the Harford County Heroin Task Force, "We are charging her with the felony distribution of heroin and Fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute heroin and Fentanyl that day."
Maryland's Good Samaritan law provides some protection for people who make life-saving calls to save addicts from fatal overdoses, but it does not give them a free pass to deal drugs.
A recovering addict, Joe Karulis, says it's a mixed message.
"If you're getting high together neither one of you are the distributor,” said Karulis, “You are both the addict."
Related: Bel Air pastor working to end heroin epidemic in Harford Co.
Not so in the eyes of the law when you're delivering heroin to someone's door---boyfriend or not.
As for the victim's family, they just want justice for their son, and we had to deliver the news to them today that neither his girlfriend nor her drug dealer would face manslaughter charges at the federal level for his death.
"That's a shame. It really is, because to me it's no different than putting a gun to somebody's head,” said Deisroth, “I realize that he didn't have to take it, but at the same time, you know that this stuff could kill you."
It doesn't help that the Deisroth family once allowed the suspect to move into their apartment for a short time while she was down on her luck until some jewelry disappeared.
Tragically, this time, something far more valuable was lost---the life of their son.
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