Former communications director for Major League Baseball's LA Angels', Eric Prescott Kay has been convicted of two charges relating to the overdose of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Kay, 47, will face 20 years to life in prison after being found guilty of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Tyler Skaggs, 27, died due to an overdose on July 1 2019. He was found in a hotel in Southlake, Texas, where the team were staying before a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.
Prosecutors have stated that LA Angels employee Eric Kay provided Skaggs with the drugs that caused his death. Skaggs was found with traces of high level opioids, including oxycodone, oxymorphone and fentanyl, along with Alcohol which caused the overdose, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office.
During the trial, it was brought to light that a large quantity of the LA Angels organization knew about Kay’s drug trafficking. According to Rusty Hardin, the attorney for the Skaggs family:
“We have no doubt that the Angels knew what Eric Kay was doing, and the team is morally and legally responsible for his conduct”
After an investigation taken out by The Drug Enforcement Administration, they found that Kay would regularly deal these pills laced with fentanyl.
Court records show that a search was conducted on Skaggs’ phone which contained text messages between himself and Kay on the 30th of June 2019, where he had requested Kay bring him pills later that evening. Kay had asked “how many”, Skaggs replied, “Just a few, like five, don't need many”
A text conversation from later that day between Skaggs and Kay included the number of Skaggs hotel room number and a following message asking Kay to “come up”.
The attorneys at the trial were given 45 minutes on each side to give their closing argument.
Assistant U.S Attorney, Lindsey Beran argued that it could have only been Kay that supplied Skaggs with the drugs, she stated that Kay was in fact, Skaggs only source for the 30 milligram oxycodone pills.
Beran recalled the testimony from three Angels players, who all stated that “it could've been me”.
CJ Cron also admitted while testifying that he too used opioids, who he had brought from Kay eight times.
She later stated that “There was one person who went into that room and gave Tyler Skaggs fentanyl. That person was Eric Kay, and Tyler Skaggs died because of that”.
This case is a sober reminder that fentanyl kills. Anyone who deals fentanyl - whether on the streets or out of a world-famous baseball stadium, it puts buyers at risk. No one is immune from this deadly drug” said US Attorney Chad E. Meacham.
Despite pleading not guilty at the start of the trial, the trial did not go Kay’s way, his sentencing on June 28th this year could lead to the ex Angels employee facing up to 20 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
The family is grateful for the federal prosecutors.
“Tyler was the light of our family. He is gone, and nothing can ever bring him back… We are relieved that justice was served, although today is a painful reminder of the worst day in the life of our family”, the family said.