Former Angels employee Eric Kay is standing trial for allegedly providing Tyler Skaggs with fake oxycodone pills which were really fentanyl and led to the pitcher’s death. If proven guilty, Kay faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
The family of Tyler Skaggs has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit but that is not currently underway. For the purposes of this thread, we will stick to the criminal proceedings.
Sam Blum at The Athletic is doing a great job laying out the bare facts of the case. As it is behind a paywall, here are some key takeaways: the prosecution must prove both that Kay supplied Skaggs with the fateful drugs and also that he did so in Texas to secure a victory. Failure to do either of those things means Kay walks.
The first step for the defense is to name possible other sources for the drugs in Tyler’s system. Former Angel Matt Harvey is being named by Kay as one possibility. There may be others listed.
Andrew Heaney was the first to take the stand. He has not stated he received drugs from Kay but is giving background on Tyler’s drug use. Heaney was detailing the frantic calls from Skaggs’ wife as they were searching for him. His testimony will continue today.
All in all 7 former Angels are on the prosecution’s witness list; Heaney, Harvey, CJ Cron, Cam Bedrosian, Mike Morin, Blake Parker, and Garrett Richards.
Initial reports stated that no players would testify they obtained drugs from Kay but could testify that it was known Kay supplied drugs to Tyler and other unnamed players. However, ESPN is now reporting “jurors will see a number of major league players who received opioids from Kay.”
The trial is expected to last two weeks and Crashing the Pearly Gates staff will update this page daily with the latest news.
Prosecution will need to prove more than Kay delivering pill(s) and that it happened in Texas. Will also have to prove the pill(s) were the proximate cause of death. Not one of the causes, THE cause of death. If Tyler had nothing else in his system, would the consumed pill(s) have killed him?
Fentanyl is bad. Adding a large quantity of alcohol makes it even worse.
Not the kind of news I’ve been wanting baseball wise. Was blinding enjoying the daily drawings of Trout when this smacks us in the face again.
Kay is a scum of the highest order. Scum of the earth.
And that is not intended to take anything away from Skaggs personal responsibility.
I can’t pass judgment on a guy selling a bit to feed his own habit. It’s part of the drug scene
The difference is nowadays it’s not weed or even blow. One bad pill and you kill a buddy.
That’s what happened here. The only question is who sold the bad pill.
I’m not sure I agree Jeff. We agree on many things. But this one I can’t get behind. Kay used his position and influence within the Organization to become a supplier of narcotics to major-league baseball players. That is scum pure and simple in my book. Maybe there is nuance but I don’t see it.
I hadn’t considered the position angle. He likely used his ability to get drugs to improve his relationships with players.
Back in my day I was known to score a decent stash and sell some to subsidize my own party. I just don’t want to be a guy in a glass house.
I suppose it’s tougher to maintain a modicum of impartiality when you feel like you’ve been in a similar situation. But what you described and what Kay apparently did are two very different things.
the car crash nobody can turn away from
And as such I figured it needed a home for discussion.