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Trial date for former Angels employee Eric Kay set in Tyler Skaggs overdose case

Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws during a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium/
The trial of former Angels employee Eric Kay in connection with the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs is scheduled to start Dec. 14 in Texas.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The trial of former Angels employee Eric Kay in connection with the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs is scheduled to start Dec. 14 in Fort Worth, Texas.

U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means set the date in a scheduling order filed last week.

A grand jury indicted Kay last month on felony counts of distributing the fentanyl that resulted in Skaggs’ death and conspiring with unspecified “others” to “possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute” fentanyl since at least 2017.

Kay, who worked in the Angels’ media relations department for 24 years, waived arraignment and pleaded not guilty last week. He had been arrested by federal authorities in August on a charge of distributing fentanyl.

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Skaggs died July 1, 2019, in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room before the Angels started a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. The Tarrant County medical examiner listed the cause of death as “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” meaning he choked on his vomit.

The Angels, seeking a new general manager, say goodbye to Tony La Russa, special advisor to the old GM, who was named manager of the Chicago White Sox.

“It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs’] system, [he] would not have died,” Geoffrey Lindenberg, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, wrote in an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint against Kay.

The affidavit said Kay visited Skaggs late in the evening of June 30, 2019, in response to the pitcher’s request for pills. Authorities later found a counterfeit oxycodone pill laced with fentanyl in Skaggs’ hotel room along with “white residue” on the floor that tested positive for fentanyl.

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Kay and Skaggs “had a history of narcotic transactions,” the affidavit alleged, though specifics haven’t been made public.

Kay faces a maximum of 20 years to life in prison if convicted on the charge of distribution resulting in death and a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted on the charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute.


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