Kay Sentenced to 22 Years in Death of Skaggs
October 13, 2022
Eric Kay was sentenced to 22 years in prison following his conviction for distributing fentanyl and giving Tyler Skaggs the drugs that caused his death. Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in Tyer Texas prior to a game he was to play in against the Texas Rangers.
Kay was the former communications director for the Los Angeles Angels.
Judge Terry Means said was "dreading" the sentence for Kay, due to disagreement with the 20-yr minimum. However, in recorded phone calls from prison, and emails, Kay disparaged the jury, Skaggs, his family and prosecutors. Thus, Judge Means added two years in response to that.
The coroner's report said Skaggs, 27, had choked to death on his vomit, and a toxic mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone was in his system. The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy testified there was a "greater probability" that fentanyl, which is significantly more potent than oxycodone, caused Skaggs' death. An expert for the government said it was a near-certainty fentanyl led to Skaggs' death.
At 47-years-old, Kay was later tried in federal court in Fort Worth, about 15 miles from where the Angels were supposed to open a four-game series against the Texas Rangers on July 1, 2019, the day Skaggs was found dead.
In recorded phone calls from prison, and emails, Kay disparaged the jury, Skaggs, his family and prosecutors. Thus, Judge Means added two years in response to the minimum 20 years required by law.
The trial included testimony from five major league players who said they received oxycodone pills from Kay at various times from 2017-19, the years Kay was accused of obtaining pills and giving them to players. Kay also used drugs himself, according to testimony and court documents.