Ex-coworker says former Angels employee saw Tyler Skaggs do drugs


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A former Los Angeles Angels employee accused of supplying the opioids that contributed to the overdose death of Tyler Skaggs tells a colleague he saw the Angels pitcher do drugs the night before he died in a bedroom hotel in suburban Dallas, according to testimony Monday.

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Eric Prescott Kay, who faces drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges, told Adam Chodzko about two weeks after Skaggs died in 2019 that he was in Skaggs’ bedroom, Chodzko told the trial.

Kay told Chodzko he had turned down an offer from Skaggs to take drugs with him, Chodzko said. Kay had just returned to the team after a stint in rehab and was one of Chodzko’s subordinates on the Angels public relations staff at the time.

Kay said she saw three lines of drugs on a table and watched Skaggs snort them before leaving the room, according to Chodzko, who is now the Angels’ communications director.

One of Kay’s defense attorneys said in his opening arguments that Skaggs was not in medical distress when Kay left his room. And a police detective testified Monday – the fourth full day of testimony in Kay’s trial – that Kay lied about when he last saw Skaggs in the hours after the pitcher’s death.

In this June 29, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs pitches to the Oakland Athletics during a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif. hotel room in the Dallas area on July 1 before the start of a series against the Texas Rangers. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

Skaggs, 27, was found dead July 1, 2019, after the team traveled from Los Angeles and before the start of what was expected to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. A coroner’s report said Skaggs had choked to death on his vomit and a toxic mixture of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone was in his system.

Kay served as the team’s public relations contact on numerous road trips, and the trip to Texas was her first since returning from rehab. Kay was put on leave shortly after Skaggs’ death and never returned to the team.

Federal prosecutors allege Kay gave Skaggs counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl after the team arrived in Texas. The defense says Kay last gave drugs to Skaggs in California and there is no way to know if the fentanyl led to his death.

Chris Leanos, who testified on Monday under immunity and admitted he was a drug dealer, said he saw what he suspected was a drug-related transaction between Skaggs and Kay at an Angels charity event. Leanos testified that he guarded a bathroom door after Skaggs entered.

Skaggs asked Leanos for oxycodone about a week or two before he died, Leanos testified. Leanos, who said he has been friends with Skaggs since 2007, said he does not sell oxycodone and warned Skaggs that these pills could be dangerous.

Defense attorney Michael Molfetta harassed Leanos during cross-examination, wondering how Leanos could say “anything you want and not be prosecuted for it.”

After trying to get an estimate from Leanos of the number of drug deals he’s done since 2018, Molfetta asked, “What’s the name and number of your cocaine supplier?” Leanos did not have to respond as the prosecution’s objection was upheld.

Southlake Police Sgt. Jonathan Macheca testified that Kay said he never saw Skaggs the night the team checked into the hotel. Kay also never mentioned seeing drugs or knowing that Skaggs was using them, Macheca said.

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Prosecutors detailed several alleged communications from Kay arranging the smuggling of drugs to Angel Stadium, and retired DEA agent Michael Ferry said former Angels pitcher Garrett Richards and Skaggs sent hundreds of dollars to Kay in several transactions via Venmo.

Richards is among seven Los Angeles players on the witness list. Andrew Heaney, one of Skaggs’ closest friends on the team, testified on the first day of the trial. Another witness is pitcher Matt Harvey, about whom the defense made several suggestions of a drug-related relationship between him and Skaggs.


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