Former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay was found guilty on Thursday of distributing the drugs that led to the death of Tyler Skaggs.
A jury found Kay guilty on both charges he faced — distributing counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl that led to Skaggs’ death and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute.
Kay’s trial lasted a total of eight days. The jury felt prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Kay provided Skaggs with the drugs that led to the former pitcher’s overdose on July 1, 2019. Four other MLB players testified during the trial that they got oxycodone from Kay.
Former Angels pitcher Matt Harvey testified this week that he gave Skaggs some Percocet pills days before Skaggs’ death. Harvey said Skaggs once shared oxycodone pills with him that Skaggs had purchased from Kay, though Harvey said he tried the drug and did not like how it made him feel. Harvey, who was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony, also admitted to using other illegal drugs during his MLB career.
Two other former Angels players — first baseman C.J. Cron and pitcher Mike Morin — testified that Skaggs connected them with Kay and that Kay provided them with opioids in the Angels’ clubhouse on numerous occasions.
Kay is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Matt Harvey testified on Tuesday in the trial related to former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ death, and the free agent made some shocking revelations.
Federal prosecutors are aiming to prove that former Angels communications director Eric Kay provided the drugs that led to Skaggs’ overdose in July of 2019. Harvey, who was with the Angels that season, was granted immunity in the case. Kay’s defense team wants to establish that Skaggs got opioids from multiple sources, and Harvey admitted to being one of those sources.
Harvey testified that he gave Skaggs pink Percocet pills in June 2019. A text message that was shown in court showed that Skaggs asked Harvey for a pill so Skaggs could be “loosey goosey” for one of his starts. Harvey, who says he illegally used painkillers himself at the start of the 2019 season, admitted to providing Skaggs with oxycodone.
According to a text message shown in court, Skaggs asked Harvey for a pill to get him "loosey goosey".
He says he gave the remainder of a batch of pink percocet pills to Skaggs on June 27, 3-4 days before Skaggs' death.
Harvey says he discussed oxy with Skaggs in spring training '19. "A couple weeks within the camp we had talked about different experiences, whether it was partying or being injured or surgeries or what not."
A former Los Angeles Angels employee is awaiting trial after he was charged with distributing the drugs that led to Tyler Skaggs’ death, and the team is now being accused of withholding information in the case.
Former Angels communications director Eric Kay has been charged with distributing the fentanyl that led to Skaggs’ overdose in July of 2019. Kay’s trial is set to begin in six weeks. According to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, federal prosecutors filed a motion in Texas court on Monday claiming the Angels have refused to comply with a subpoena seeking information about members of the organization potentially distributing drugs.
“Put simply, it strains credulity to accept any assertion that the Angels’s organization has not a single document, record, or report for months after one of its pitchers overdosed and died on a trip taken by the team, for months after Kay confessed to another Angels employee that he was in [Skaggs’] room late on June 30, 2019, and witnessed [Skaggs] ingesting drugs; and for weeks after learning about allegations of drug distribution by employee(s) within the organization,” the motion states.
The motion asks the court to order the Angels to produce documents related to “drug distribution within the [Angels] organization” by next Monday. The Angels opposed the motion in court on Tuesday and said the team has “produced thousands of pages of documents and an entire computer hard drive to the government in response to at least five subpoenas and requests for information.” The team says the only documents that haven’t been turned over are “those protected by the attorney-client privilege and work product protections, including those relating to its internal investigation arising out of [Skaggs’] death.”
Kay has been charged with multiple counts of distributing fentanyl dating back to 2017. Prosecutors recently said that several MLB players will testify during the trial to receiving oxycodone from Kay between 2017 and 2019.
Federal prosecutors claim the Angels have documents that discuss how Kay has a history of opioid abuse and has distributed drugs to members of the organization. They say the team also has documents that discuss people other than Kay “unlawfully distributing drugs to players or others in the organization.”
Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. Before he was charged, Kay had admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He said two other Angels employees, one of which was former vice president of communications Tim Mead, knew about Skaggs’ drug use.
The family of late pitcher Tyler Skaggs filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, and the team promptly issued a response.
A lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Skaggs’ widow, Carli. The complaint accuses the Angels of wrongful death and negligence. Former Angels communications director Eric Kay and vice president of communications Tim Mead are also named as defendants.
The Angels issued a statement in response to the lawsuit and called it “entirely without merit.” They said an independent investigation in 2019 determined that no one within the organization knew Skaggs was using drugs. You can see the full statement below:
Former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of a drug overdose nearly two years ago, and his family is now suing the team for wrongful death.
According to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, a lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Skaggs’ widow, Carli. The complaint accuses the Angels of wrongful death and negligence. Former Angels communications director Eric Kay and vice president of communications Tim Mead are also named as defendants.
Before he was charged, Kay had admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He said two other Angels employees, one of which was Mead, knew about Skaggs’ drug use. The Angels said in a statement last year that no one with the team’s management was aware Skaggs was abusing drugs.
“The Angels breached their duty when they allowed Kay, a drug addict, complete access to Tyler,” the lawsuit reads. “The Angels also breached their duty when they allowed Kay to provide Tyler with dangerous illegal drugs. The Angels should have known Kay was dealing drugs to players. Tyler died as a result of the Angels’ breach of their duties.”
The lawsuit does not seek a specific amount in damages.
A former Los Angeles Angels employee has been charged with distributing the fentanyl that contributed to the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs a little over a year ago.
Skaggs, who was 27, died after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room with fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system on July 1, 2019. A grand jury launched an investigation back in March into Skaggs’ death, and former Angels director of communications Eric Kay was charged on Friday with distributing fentanyl to Skaggs. Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times has more of the details.
From the affidavit in support of the complaint against Eric Kay: "It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs'] system, [Skaggs] would not have died."
Key paragraph in court documents regarding Eric Kay and Tyler Skaggs: Kay allegedly distributed pills to Skaggs and others "in their place of employment and while they were working." pic.twitter.com/BXaiqqsriF
Kay had previously admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. He also said two other former Angels employees knew about Skaggs’ drug use. The Angels released a statement on Friday saying an independent investigation showed that “no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids.
The Angels could have faced a significant fine if it was determined that they were aware of Skaggs using opioids. It’s unclear if the league also conducted an investigation and came to the same conclusion as the Angels.
The death of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs could eventually result in criminal charges, as the case is now under investigation by a grand jury.
According to a report from Bill Shaikin and Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times, a Texas grand jury has been hearing evidence that could lead to criminal charges related to Skaggs’ death. Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor, told the Times that the involvement of a grand jury in the case is “significant.”
“It means there’s at least some concern about how widespread this incident might be by those who provided drugs, were involved in the activities, knew about them, may have made misrepresentations, whatever the connection might be,” Levenson explained.
Skaggs died on July 1, 2019, after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room in Texas. An autopsy that was publicly released nearly two months later revealed that he had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. At least six players who were with the Angels at the time of Skaggs’ death have been interviewed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA has been investigating how Skaggs may have obtained fentanyl, and that could be related to the grand jury investigation.
Eric Kay, the former director of communications for the Angels, told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. Kay also said two other former Angels employees, including his former supervisor Tim Mead, knew of Skaggs’ opioid use. Mead left the Angels in June to become the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kay had not been called to testify in front of a grand jury as of Monday, according to the LA Times report.
The Los Angeles Angels could be fined up to $2 million by the commissioner for not reporting Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use.
A report published by ESPN on Saturday stated that Angels communications director Eric Kay admitted to federal investigators that he used and supplied Skaggs with drugs since at least 2017. Kay told federal investigators that at least two other Angels employees knew of Skaggs’ drug use.
According to ESPN, Kay said that ex-vice president of communications Tim Mead, who took a job with the Baseball Hall of Fame in June, knew of Skaggs’ drug use. The Los Angeles Times also reported that Tom Taylor, the team’s traveling secretary, knew of Skaggs’ drug use, according to Kay.
Team officials are supposed to report to the commissioner’s office any knowledge of players using drugs. The commissioner could fine the team $2 million for a failure to report and could ban any employee from MLB for life. According to ESPN, the extent of any punishment could depend on how high level of a team official knew about Skaggs’ use and did not report it.
ESPN’s story on a Los Angeles Angels employee contained a lot of troubling allegations, but one of the most notable ones is that multiple Angels employees allegedly knew of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use.
One of those employees is Eric Kay, the team’s director of communications, who told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs. According to T.J. Quinn of Outside the Lines, Kay told federal investigators that two other team employees knew that Skaggs was using opioids well before he died from an overdose. While one employee remains unnamed, the other is Kay’s former supervisor, ex-vice president of communications Tim Mead.
Kay and Mead were close, as evidenced by this June post in which Kay acknowledged Mead’s influence when the latter departed the team in June to become president of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
What can I ever say to express my gratitude to @TMead2002 ? Thank you seems so far off. He has influenced my life in so many ways, mostly how to be kind & compassionate. I lost my dad in 1998 & Tim took over that father figure role in my life. He is the best man I know. #Angelspic.twitter.com/p9JPp7Vzjz
Kay alleged that he first told Mead about Skaggs’ drug use in 2017. Kay’s mother, Sandy, told ESPN that she saw texts sent by her son to Mead stating that the organization needed to get Skaggs “off his back.”
Mead denied that he had any knowledge of Skaggs’ drug use when contacted by ESPN.
The Los Angeles Angels were quick to respond to a damning ESPN story about widespread opiate abuse in the team clubhouse.
In a statement, Angels president John Carpino denied having any knowledge that a team employee had provided narcotics to any player. He added that the team has a “zero tolerance” policy toward such a thing and would continue to cooperate in the investigation into Tyler Skaggs’ death.
This is about the only response the Angels could have considering how damaging the ESPN report would be if true. It is alleged that a team employee provided Skaggs with opioids regularly, and did the same for other players. It is also alleged that two other Angels employees knew what was going on. The report feels like the tip of the iceberg in an investigation into Skaggs’ death that will continue in the months to come.