Eric Kay Charged with Fentanyl Distribution in Connection to Tyler Skaggs' Death

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 7, 2020

FILE - In this May 25, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif. The 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels pitcher was found unresponsive in his Texas hotel room after a drug overdose on July 1, 2019. He was 27. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay has been charged with distributing fentanyl in connection to the death of Tyler Skaggs.

Federal authorities in Texas formally charged Kay, according to court documents obtained by Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.

"It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs'] system, [Skaggs] would not have died," per the affidavit in support of the complaint, via Fenno. 

The Angels issued a statement after the charges against Kay were announced:   

Maria Torres @maria_torres3

The #Angels released the following statement to the @latimes following news that Eric Kay was charged by federal authorities with distributing fentanyl in connection with the death of Tyler Skaggs. https://t.co/uA0prP6MpI https://t.co/c4TvFlXbt4

ESPN's T.J. Quinn reported last October that Kay told federal investigators he gave oxycodone to Skaggs and the two of them "abused it" together for years.

Quinn also noted Kay said two Angels officials "were told about Skaggs' drug use long before his death."

Angels president John Carpino issued a statement in October 2019 denying the team was ever made aware employees were providing players with illegal drugs, nor did they know any player was seeking illegal drugs.

Skaggs died on July 1, 2019, at the age of 27 when he was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas where the Angels were staying while playing a series against the Texas Rangers. 

The autopsy report released on Aug. 30 revealed that Skaggs had a combination of alcohol and painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death. 

In response to Skaggs' death, MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed in December to start testing for opioids and cocaine as part of the joint drug treatment program. 


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