Eric Kay was convicted on one count each of drug distribution resulting in death and drug conspiracy. He faces up to life in prison.
Skaggs’ widow, Carli, and his mother, Debbie, hugged as the verdict was announced. Kay took off his jacket and tie and was placed into handcuffs, nodding toward his family and friends in the courtroom.
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A 10-woman, two-man jury revealed the verdict in a federal courtroom in downtown 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 a suburban Dallas hotel room.
A 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 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.
Following the verdict, Angels president John Carpino issued the following statement:
"On behalf of the entire Angels Organization, we are saddened by the devastating heartache that surrounds this tragedy, especially for the Skaggs family. Our compassion goes out to all families and individuals that have been impacted.
The players’ testimony was incredibly difficult for our organization to hear, and it is a reminder that too often drug use and addiction are hidden away. From the moment we learned of Tyler’s death, our focus has been to fully understand the circumstances that led to this tragedy.
We are thankful that Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have taken the important step to update their drug policies for players using opioids so that they can receive help."
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