Former LA Angels employee sentenced to 22 years for Tyler Skaggs' overdose death
LOS ANGELES - Former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for the fatal overdose death of Tyler Skaggs.
Kay was convicted of supplying opioids to Skaggs, who was found dead in a Southlake, Texas hotel room on July 1, 2019.
The Angels were in Texas to play the Rangers when the 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead inside of his hotel room with a mix of ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.
Investigators found pills inside Skaggs' hotel room that looked like oxycodone tablets. Analysis later revealed the pills were laced with fentanyl.
According to the investigation, Kay denied knowing if Skaggs was a drug user and claimed the last time he'd seen Skaggs was on June 30. But a search of Skaggs' phone revealed text messages from June 30 suggesting he had asked Kay to stop by his room with pills later that evening.
FILE-Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs( Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kay had admitted to a colleague that he had, in fact, visited Mr. Skaggs’s room the night of his death, officials said.
Several Angels players, including Matt Harvey, C.J. Cron, Mike Morin, and Cameron Bedrosian, testified that Kay gave oxycodone pills to them as well.
At Tuesday's sentencing hearing, prosecutors played jailhouse phone calls and emails from Kay to show his lack of remorse.
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"I hope people realize what a piece of s*** he is," he told his mother in a recorded call. "Well, he’s dead, so f*** ‘em."
He also mocked the Skaggs family, calling them "dumb" and "white trash" and prompted his mother to plant negative stories about them in the media.
"All they see are dollar signs," he said of the Skaggs family. "They may get more money with him dead than he was playing because he sucked."
The Skaggs family released a statement shortly after the final sentence was announced.
"We are very grateful to everyone who worked so hard to investigate and prosecute Eric Kay. Today’s sentencing isn’t about the number of years the defendant received. The real issue in this case is holding accountable the people who are distributing the deadly drug fentanyl. It is killing tens of thousands of people every year in our country and destroying families along with it. We will continue the fight to hold responsible those who allowed Kay to provide a deadly drug to Tyler. But for their actions, Tyler would still be with us today."
Following the hearing U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said, ""The Skaggs family learned the hard way: One fentanyl pill can kill. That’s why our office is committed to holding to account anyone who deals in illicit opioids, whether they operate in back alleyways or world-class stadiums."
KDFW contributed to this report.