Former Angels staffer charged in Skaggs’ death

Eric Kay, a former director of communications for the Los Angeles Angels, has been charged by the Drug Enforcement Agency for illegally supplying drugs to former pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who died in a hotel room in Texas last year.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead on July 1, 2019 after police responded to a report of an unconscious man in a hotel room in Southlake, Texas. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the criminal complaint affadavit, Skaggs sent text messages to Kay on June 30, asking for him to deliver pills to his hotel room.

Kay has been charged with illegal possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of Fentanyl, a controlled substance.

The opioids fentanyl and oxycodone, along with alcohol, were in Skaggs’ system at the time of his death, according to an autopsy report that was released last August by the Tarrant County (Texas) medical examiner’s office.

The seven-page autopsy showed 38 nanograms per milliliter of oxycodone, an opioid medication prescribed to treat severe pain, and 3.8 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl, a highly concentrated painkiller that is significantly stronger than oxycodone. It also showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.122%; a 0.08% limit is considered legally impaired.

After the autopsy was released, Skaggs’ family revealed through legal counsel that an unnamed Angels employee was tied to an ongoing investigation by the Southlake Police Department.

“The Angels Organization has fully cooperated with Law Enforcement and Major League Baseball,” the Angels said in a statement Friday. “Additionally, in order to comprehensively understand the circumstances that led to his death, we hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation.

“We learned that there was unacceptable behavior inconsistent with our code of conduct, and we took steps to address it. Our investigation also confirmed that no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids.”

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