Man’s murder charge dropped in plea deal; victim’s family outraged
GUTHRIE, OK (KFOR) — A family is outraged after an Oklahoma judge decided to clean the slate for the accused mastermind behind a young father’s murder.
Twenty-four-year-old Joseph Angelo was found dead on his front porch with nearly 40 gunshot wounds to his body.
After a hearing on Friday inside a Logan County courtroom, Angelo’s killer could be a free man in a few years.
“We have no faith in the justice system there,” Michael Angelo said.
So much so, the still grieving family picked up their lives in Guthrie and moved a thousand miles away.
“Our system is a joke,” Angelo said.
But Friday morning, Michael Angelo said he can’t escape the pain, learning Friday his brother’s alleged killer, Reggie Smith, will soon be free.
“It’s all falling apart, all of it,” Angelo said. “There is absolutely no reason that this man should be having a plea deal.”
In spring of 2017, Joseph Angelo, father of a one year old, was gunned down on his Guthrie front porch. Police say he was sprayed with nearly 40 bullets.
According to court documents, a group was out for “revenge after someone tried to steal marijuana from Reggie Smith earlier that day.”
A witness added, “Smith was extremely angry and he wanted to find the gangbangers.”
Smith and three others eventually were caught and booked for murder.
“The evidence can be right in front of them and they will make whatever decision they want to,” Angelo said.
But it’s evidence a Logan County jury couldn’t prove in Smith’s trial, coming to a deadlock.
So Friday, Smith made a deal with the judge: his murder charge would be wiped clean in exchange for a different charge, assault with a dangerous weapon.
Smith also had to admit his part in the murder, first saying he drove the group to the home, but that he did not pull the trigger.
Smith’s family did not want to go on camera, but two years ago, his mother spoke to News 4 maintaining her son was innocent.
“I am not going to say my son is perfect, my children are perfect, because they ain’t,” Sheila Smith said. “But they did not kill that man.”
The Angelos say they are baffled.
“My family, I will say, is not going to be happy people when this is all said and done,” Angelo said.
Smith was sentenced to 10 years, but he was credited for the two years he has already served.
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