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Former LA Angels Communications Director Sentenced to 22 Years in Pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ Death — and Prosecutors Say He Lacked Remorse

Tyler Skaggs.

Tyler Skaggs.

Eric Prescott Kay, 48, the former Communications Director of the Los Angeles Angeles, was sentenced on Tuesday to 22 years in prison for supplying the drugs that killed team pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, more than three years ago.

Prosecutors emphasized that there was evidence Kay lacked remorse, bad mouthing the late pitcher, Skaggs’ family, and even jurors.

“I hope people realize what a piece of sh*t he is,” he told his mother of Skaggs in a recorded jailhouse call, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. “Well, he’s dead, so f*ck ‘em.”

He called Skaggs’ family “dumb” and “white trash,” and he suggested his mother plant negative stories about them in the media.

“All they see are dollar signs,” he said of the Skaggs family. “They may get more money with him dead than he was playing because he sucked.”

He called the jurors who went on to convict him “fat, sloppy, toothless, and unemployed.”

“The Skaggs family learned the hard way: One fentanyl pill can kill,” U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham of the Northern District of Texas said. “That’s why our office is committed to holding to account anyone who deals in illicit opioids, whether they operate in back alleyways or world class stadiums. Mr. Skaggs did not deserve to die this way. No one does. We hope this sentence will bring some comfort to his grieving family.”

Kay was convicted in February for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury. Cops in Southlake, Texas, got a call July 1, 2019 about Skaggs being found dead in his hotel room. He had a mix of ethanol, fentanyl, and oxycodone in his system.

They found a fentanyl-laced blue pill marked M/30 in his room and determined that Kay dealt these to him and others.

Officials previously released texts between the men, showing that Kay supplied pills to Skaggs.

[Kay].: Hoe [sic] many?

[Skaggs]: Just a few like 5

[Kay]: Word

[Skaggs]: Don’t need many

“In an initial interview with law enforcement, Mr. Kay denied knowing whether Mr. Skaggs was a drug user,” the U.S. Department of Justice has said. “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. Investigators later learned that, contrary to what he’d told law enforcement the day Mr. Skaggs’s body was discovered, Mr. Kay had admitted to a colleague that he had, in fact, visited Mr. Skaggs’s room the night of his death.”

Former Angels players Matt HarveyC.J. CronMike Morin, and Cameron Bedrosian testified that Kay dealt the blue oxycodone pills to them.

Skaggs’ family has sued the Angels, asserting the team was negligent.

“Today’s sentencing of Eric Kay will not ease the suffering that the Skaggs’ family have experienced since 2019,” said Eduardo A. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Dallas. “What the guilty verdict and sentencing proves is even if you sell only a small number of pills and one of those pills causes the death of an individual, you will be held responsible and sentenced to the fullest extent allowed by our judicial system.”

Kay faced a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

[Image via Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]

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