August 1, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Grand Jury Indicts Former Angel Employee in Tyler Skaggs’ Fatal Overdose

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts Eric Prescott Kay on drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges

By Sam Catanzaro

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Los Angeles Angels employee on charges for allegedly providing Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs–a Santa Monica High School graduate–with the drugs that led to his overdose death.

Last Thursday Eric Prescott Kay was charged by a federal grand jury in Fort Worth, Texas with drug distribution and drug conspiracy in Skaggs’ death. Kay– who remained free on his own recognizance–faces a maximum of a life sentence and 20 years in prison for each respective charges.

Skaggs was born in Woodland Hills and grew up in Santa Monica where he graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2009 when the Angels drafted him in the first round.

Skaggs’ mother Debbie spent more than three decades coaching the softball team at SAMOHI to a string of league titles and a pair of Southern California championships.

According to the criminal complaint, filed on July 30 and unsealed Friday, the investigation began on July 1, 2019, when the Southlake Police Department received a 911 call stating that Mr. Skaggs, then just 27 years old, had been found dead in his hotel room at the Southlake Town Square Hilton. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office later determined that Mr. Skaggs had a mixture of ethanol, fentanyl, and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death; it was later ascertained that but for the fentanyl, Mr. Skaggs would not have died.

Inside Mr. Skaggs’s hotel room, investigators discovered a number of pills, including a single blue pill with the markings M/30. An analysis of the pill – which closely resembled a 30-milligram oxycodone tablet – revealed it had been laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate.

In an initial interview with law enforcement, Mr. Kay allegedly denied knowing whether Mr. Skaggs was a drug user. He claimed the last time he’d seen Mr. Skaggs was at hotel check-in on June 30. However, a search of Mr. Skaggs’s phone revealed text messages from June 30 suggesting that he had asked Mr. Kay to stop by his room with pills late that evening.

Hotel key card records indicated that Mr. Kay’s room, no. 367, was opened at 11:29 p.m., and Mr. Skaggs’s room, no. 469, was opened nine minutes later, at 11:38 p.m., according to prosecutors.

Investigators later learned that, contrary to what he’d told law enforcement the day Mr. Skaggs’s body was discovered, Mr. Kay had allegedly admitted to a colleague that he had, in fact, visited Mr. Skaggs’s room the night of his death.

In the course of their investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration determined that Mr. Kay allegedly regularly dealt the blue M/30 pills – dubbed “blue boys” – to Mr. Skaggs and to others, dolling out the pills at the stadium where they worked.

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