Former Angels PR Director Charged in Tyler Skaggs' Death

The former public relations director for the Los Angeles Angles has surrendered to federal authorities in Texas today on a drug-distribution charge stemming from the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Dallas. charged Eric Kay, 45, with conspiracy to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of fentanyl. Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his initial appearance before a federal judge Friday morning.

Skaggs, then-27, was discovered dead in his hotel room at the Southlake Town Square Hilton on July 1 of last year. The Angels were in town for a series with the Texas Rangers.

The complaint was filed July 30 and unsealed Friday upon Kay's arrest.

Southlake police received a 911 call on July 1, 2019, when Skaggs' body was found in room 469 of the hotel, Lindenberg said. Skaggs died from a mix of ``ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric content,'' according to Lindenberg.

Text-messages between Kay and Skaggs have also been released.

Kay: “Hoe (sic) many?''

Skaggs: “Just a few like 5''

Kay: “Word''

Skaggs: “Don't need many.''

“During the course of the investigation, I learned that (Skaggs) and Kay had a history of narcotic transactions, including several exchanges wherein Kay acquired oxycodone pills for (Skaggs) and others from Kay's source(s) in the days leading up to and surrounding (Skaggs') overdose death,'' Lindenberg wrote in the affidavit.

“During the course of this investigation, I learned that several individuals who were associated with Kay and (Skaggs) knew that Kay provided pills to (Skaggs),'' Lindenberg wrote. “These individuals confirmed that Kay would provide 30 milligram oxycodone pills to (Skaggs) and that at times, Kay, (Skaggs) and others would refer to these pills as `blues' or `blue boys' because they were blue in color. I also learned that Kay would distribute these pills to (Skaggs) and others in their place of employment and while they were working.''

Kay initially denied knowledge of Skaggs' drug use, saying he was unsure if the pitcher used any narcotics except possibly marijuana, according to the affidavit.

Kay could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The Los Angeles Angels released a statement about Kay's arrest on Twitter Friday morning.

"It has been more than a year since the tragic passing of Tyler Skaggs, and all of us affected by this loss continue to grieve. The circumstances surrounding his death are a tragedy that has impacted countless individuals and families.

"The Angels Organization has fully cooperated with Law Enforcement and Major League Baseball. Additionally, in order to comprehensively understand the circumstances that led to his death, we hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation.

"We learned that there was unacceptable behavior inconsistent with our code of conduct, and we took steps to address it. Our investigation also confirmed that no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids," the Angels said.

"As we try to heal from the loss of Tyler, we continue to work with authorities as they complete their investigation," the statement added.

Photo: Getty Images

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