Startling new details have emerged in the 2019 death of former Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs, as an ex-Angels employee’s involvement in the tragic incident has become much more apparent.
Eric Kay, a former communications director with the Angels from 1996-2019, allegedly had the pills that killed Skaggs delivered to Angels stadium the same day Skaggs died from an overdose, and had tried to barter Mike Trout-signed baseballs in exchange for more pills.
Kay was already indicted on charges in October of 2020 for allegedly giving Skaggs fentanyl-laced Oxytocin, which led to Skaggs’ overdose, but Monday’s news provided by ‘League of Justice’ founder Amy Dash shed more light on what actually occurred.
Kay was charged with drug distribution and drug conspiracy – charges that could carry a life sentence – but the new reports say Kay had actually gotten the counterfeit pills delivered to Angels Stadium the same day Skaggs died from an overdose.
The counterfeit oxycodone pills contained fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is often combined with drugs like heroin and cocaine to increase its effects. Often times consumers of illegal drugs are completely unaware that their recently purchased product contains fentanyl, which ultimately led to Skaggs’ overdose.
Text messages between Kay and the drug supplier reveal Kay repeatedly asking if the drugs contained fentanyl according to government documents, with one text saying that fentanyl was ‘scary’. According to prosecutors, those messages could prove that Kay should be held responsible for Skaggs’ death, given he knew how dangerous it was to provide the pitcher with these pills.
It is unclear if Kay knew the pills were laced with fentanyl. Skaggs choked to death on his own vomit after ingesting a fatal dosage of alcohol and the fentanyl-laced oxycodone.
The Angels’ involvement in the case is a major fabric of the case as well, as there’s evidence that Kay was repeatedly getting the drugs delivered to Angels Stadium, with text message records even showing that Kay offered the drug dealer a Mike Trout signed baseball he could give to his son in exchange for drugs, to which the dealer texted back ‘We Dodgers fans my boi.’
Authorities say at least five MLB payers who were supplied drugs by Kay will take the stand to testify against him.
Kay alleges that ‘at least two executives’ in the Angels organization knew he was dealing illegal drugs to players on the team, with Rusty Hardin, the attorney representing the Skaggs family and who is also representing Deshaun Watson, claims the Angels organization ‘promoted a drug addict to an executive position’ with talking about Kay’s role with the team.
Court papers allege that Kay’s family tried to inform Kay’s superior, Tim Mead, begging him to intervene and stop Kay from providing drugs to Angels players, but Mead never took any action.
Mead’s attorney denied the allegations.
Fox Sports Radio legal analyst Amy Dash says the following about the evidence and order of events:
The evidence is not being publicly disclosed and is being held back for trial. It allegedly demonstrates that former Angels’ Communications Director Eric Kay obtained fake oxycodone pills from one of his drug suppliers at Angel stadium on June 30, 2019, just before Kay left with Skaggs and the team for a Texas road trip, according to prosecutors.
Later that night, Kay brought the pills to Skaggs’ hotel room around midnight, according to text messages obtained by federal prosecutors. Skaggs never made it to the game the next day.
The pitcher was found dead in his room at the Town Square Hilton in Southlake the next morning, just before the start of a four-game series against the Rangers.
As for the Angels' involvement in the case, here were Dash's comments about their potential culpability:
Court documents place tremendous emphasis on Kay’s relationship with the team & use of workplace facilities to operate his alleged drug distribution network. Several text exchanges with alleged drug dealers indicate Kay had the drugs delivered to Angel Stadium on more than one occasion, according to prosecutors.
Amy's article includes a theory that Kay may have been running a drug distribution operation within the Angels' organization:
The government’s case extends to a larger theory that Kay was running a drug distribution operation within the Angels organization, allegedly contacting at least nine different drug suppliers to try to obtain pills for various Angels players, often using Skaggs as a middleman, according to government documents.