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Death of Tyler Skaggs: Eric Prescott Kay, former manager of the Los Angeles Angels, found guilty


Skaggs, 27, died July 1, 2019, at a hotel in Southlake, Texas, before the team was ready to face the Texas Rangers.

Prescott was convicted on Thursday of distributing controlled substances causing death and conspiring to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, according to the federal prosecutor.

Skaggs died from choking on vomit after using drugs and alcohol, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. High levels of opioids, including fentanyl, oxycodone and oxymorphone, were found in his system, along with alcohol, according to toxicology results.

Skaggs’ family said they were grateful to federal prosecutors.

“Tyler was the light of our family. He’s gone and nothing can ever bring him back,” they said. “We are relieved that justice has been served, although today is a painful reminder of the worst day in our family’s lives.”

Rusty Hardin, attorney for the Skaggs family, said the verdict was the start of justice.

“The trial showed that Eric Kay’s drug dealing was known to many within the Angels organization, and it resulted in the tragic and unnecessary death of one of their most popular players. We have no doubt that the Angels knew what Eric Kay was doing, and the team is morally and legally responsible for his conduct,” he said, referring to the family’s lawsuits against the organization, Kay and another league official. ‘team.

According to court records, a search of Skaggs’ phone revealed text messages from the day before his death suggesting he asked Kay to stop by his room with pills late that evening.

The Drug Enforcement Administration investigation also found that Kay regularly handed out fentanyl pills — nicknamed “blue boys” for their blue coloring — to Skaggs and other members of the Angels organization at the stadium where they worked, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint.

Geoffrey Lindenberg, a DEA special agent, wrote that “without the fentanyl” in Skaggs’ system, the medical examiner determined, the pitcher “wouldn’t have died.”

Skaggs was a first-round pick in 2009. After being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, he made his major league debut two years later at age 21.

The Angels bought him before the 2014 season and he was 28-38 in his career. He last pitched two days before his death.

“We are saddened by the devastating grief surrounding this tragedy, especially for the Skaggs family. Our sympathy goes out to all the families and individuals who have been affected,” Angel officials said in a statement. “From the moment we learned of Tyler’s death, our goal has been to fully understand the circumstances that led to this tragedy.

“We are grateful that Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have taken the important step of updating their drug policies for players using opioids so they can receive help.”

CNN’s Matt Lait and Jacob Lev contributed to this report.


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Sara Adm

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