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Former Angels Employee Found Guilty For Role In Tyler Skaggs’ Death

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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 05: The #45 jersey of recently deceased Los Angeles Angels player Tyler Skaggs hangs in the team's dugout before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Ring Central Coliseum on September 05, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

In July of 2019, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his Dallas hotel room, with an autopsy later finding oxycodone, fentanyl, and alcohol in his system. 

On Thursday, ex-Angels Communications Director Eric Kay was found guilty by a jury of providing the pills that killed Skaggs as well as intent to distribute controlled substances. Kay faces a minimum 20-year sentence, with sentencing scheduled for June 28. 

Kay reportedly provided Skaggs with opioids starting in the 2017 season, and Skaggs asked Kay to provide him with pills the night that he died. Kay was also present in Skaggs’ hotel room on the night of his death.  

“On behalf of the entire Angels organization, we are saddened by the devastating heartache that surrounds this tragedy, especially for the Skaggs family,” the Angels said in a statement. “Our compassion goes out to all families and individuals that have been impacted. The players’ testimony was incredibly difficult for our organization to hear, and it is a reminder that too often drug use and addiction are hidden away.”

“From the moment we learned of Tyler’s death, our focus has been to fully understand the circumstances that led to this tragedy,” the statement continued. “We are thankful that Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have taken the important step to update their drug policies for players using opioids so that they can receive help.”

The trial lasted just eight days, with multiple former Angels teammates testifying. Former Angels pitcher Matt Harvey testified that Kay provided him with pills starting in 2019, including the day before Skaggs’ death. Harvey could face a suspension from the league due to his testimony. 

“Once the trial is complete, MLB will conduct a comprehensive review of the potential violations of our drug program,” MLB said in a statement.

The family of Tyler Skaggs released a statement following the verdict. 

“We are very grateful to the government and the jury for seeing this important case through to the right verdict,” the Skaggs family said in a statement. “Tyler was the light of our family. He is gone, and nothing can ever bring him back. We are relieved that justice was served, although today is a painful reminder of the worst day in the life of our family.”

“This case is a sobering reminder: Fentanyl kills. Anyone who deals fentanyl — whether on the streets or out of a world-famous baseball stadium — puts his or her buyers at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham in a statement. “No one is immune from this deadly drug. A beloved pitcher, Tyler Skaggs was struck down in the midst of an ascendant career. The Justice Department is proud to hold his dealer accountable for his family and friends’ unimaginable loss.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

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