Ex-Angels employee gets 22 years in Skaggs overdose death



A former Los Angeles Angels employee was sentenced to 22 years in federal jail Tuesday for offering Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs the medicine that led to his overdose death in Texas.

Eric Kay, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with handcuffs and leg shackles, did not react when U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means learn his sentence. Kay confronted not less than 20 years in jail on one of many two counts.

There was no response from Skaggs’ widow and mom or members of Kay’s household, together with considered one of his sons who learn a press release on his behalf earlier than sentencing. A bailiff had warned observers they’d be faraway from the court docket over any outbursts.

Prosecutors introduced proof of Kay, 48, making derogatory feedback about Skaggs, his household, prosecutors and jurors in telephone calls and emails after he was convicted in February.

There was emotional testimony from each side in federal court docket in Fort Worth, about 15 miles from the place the Angels had been speculated to open a four-game collection in opposition to the Texas Rangers on July 1, 2019, the day Skaggs was discovered useless in a suburban Dallas resort room.

Kay was convicted on one rely every of drug distribution ensuing in death and drug conspiracy. Means advisable Kay serve his time in his house state of California. He has been in jail in Fort Worth because the conviction.

A coroner’s report mentioned Skaggs, 27, had choked to death on his vomit and {that a} toxic mixture of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone was in his system.

The trial included testimony from 5 main league gamers who mentioned they obtained oxycodone capsules from Kay at varied occasions from 2017-19, the years Kay was accused of acquiring capsules and giving them to gamers at (*22*) Stadium. Kay additionally used medicine himself, in accordance with testimony and court docket paperwork.

After revealing the sentence, Means mentioned he dreaded at the present time from the start of the case as a result of the 20-year minimal could possibly be thought of too harsh for the crime.

Means mentioned he added two years due to Kay’s feedback to his household in jailhouse conversations after the conviction.

The decide interrupted Kay to cite the previous public relations employee as saying in a type of exchanges, “I’m right here due to Tyler Skaggs. Well, he is useless. So (expletive) him.”

“That’s disgusting,” Kay responded. “I do not know why I mentioned that. I used to be mad on the world.”

Means appeared skeptical, even saying at one level after delivering the sentence that he would most likely grow to be a goal of Kay’s anger.

The decide mentioned Kay displayed “a callousness and refusal to just accept duty and even be remorseful for one thing that you simply induced.”

“Tyler Skaggs wasn’t an ideal individual,” the decide mentioned. “But he paid the final word value for it.”

Kay sobbed whereas considered one of his three sons spoke to the decide from the lectern in a plea for leniency. Carli Skaggs, the widow, fought again tears a lot the identical method she did when she testified through the trial.

“Not solely am I grieving the lack of my husband,” she mentioned. “I’m grieving the lack of myself.”

Defence legal professional Cody Cofer, who took over after Kay’s two trial attorneys had been eliminated, sought a movement that will have allowed Means to think about a sentence under the 20-year minimal. It was denied.

“We are very grateful to everybody who labored so onerous to analyze and prosecute Eric Kay,” the Skaggs household mentioned in a press release. “Today’s sentencing is not concerning the variety of years the defendant obtained. The actual challenge in this case is holding accountable the people who find themselves distributing the lethal drug fentanyl.”

Kay served because the crew’s public relations contact on many street journeys, and the journey to Texas was his first since coming back from rehab. Kay was positioned on depart shortly after Skaggs’ death and by no means returned to the crew. He did not testify throughout his trial.

The authorities argued at trial that Kay was the one one who may have given Skaggs the medicine that led to his death, that the supply was in Texas and that fentanyl was the reason for death. Prosecutors say Kay gave Skaggs counterfeit oxycodone capsules that contained fentanyl.


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