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Deadline to indict Eric Kay in Tyler Skaggs case delayed as plea bargain is discussed

Mike Trout walks by a picture of late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in center field at Angel Stadium
Mike Trout walks by a picture of late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in center field before a game against the Baltimore Orioles on July 25, 2019, at Angel Stadium.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

A federal judge approved a joint motion on Monday to delay the deadline to indict Eric Kay as prosecutors and attorneys for the former Angels employee continue discussing a plea bargain.

Kay, who worked in the Angels’ media relations department for 24 years, was charged last month with distributing fentanyl in connection with pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ overdose death.

“Both parties have been in communication during this most recent extension period, but due to the defendant’s residence in California, communications are more time-consuming and require additional levels of coordination,” the joint motion said. “Both parties continue to believe that with additional time in which to gather information about the defendant and the circumstances surrounding the events leading to the pending case, a plea agreement may be reached, thus negating the need for an indictment, or the parties might be in a better position to move forward with the case in the most efficient manner.”

The motion added: “The additional time will allow the parties an opportunity to further review evidence and communicate regarding the evidence and pending case.”

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This is the second delay U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton in Fort Worth has granted. The first joint motion late last month extended the deadline to Thursday; the new deadline is Oct. 22.

The word ‘others’ is an ominous presence in the Tyler Skaggs criminal complaint, indicating the probe could go well beyond former Angels employee Eric Kay.

Skaggs died in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room July 1, 2019, before the Angels were scheduled to play the Texas Rangers. The toxicology report by the Tarrant County, Texas, medical examiner found fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.

Prosecutors alleged in the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint that Kay and Skaggs had a “history of narcotic transactions” and Kay distributed opioid pills to “[Skaggs] and others in their place of employment and while they were working.”

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Investigators found a counterfeit oxycodone pill containing fentanyl in Skaggs’ hotel room. The affidavit by Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Geoffrey Lindenberg said Kay visited Skaggs in response to his request for pills late at night June 30.

“It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs’] system, [he] would not have died,” the affidavit said.

Kay has not entered a plea, according to court records. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.


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