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MLB players to testify in drug case related to Tyler Skaggs death

Tyler Skaggs case, Matt Harvey
Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

A handful of Major League Baseball players are prepared to testify in the upcoming federal trial of Eric Kay, the former Los Angeles Angels employee connected to the fatal drug overdose of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

The Los Angeles Times reported that court documents filed late Friday related to the case against Kay said federal prosecutors will present testimony from “approximately” five players who will say they received oxycodone pills from Kay.

Kay was indicted by a grand jury in Texas last fall. Charges include distributing the drugs that allegedly caused Skaggs to overdose. Kay has entered a not guilty plea, and his trial is scheduled to start Oct 4 in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth.

The case is being heard in Texas because that is where Skaggs was found dead in a hotel room on July 1, 2019, as the Angels were in the area to play the Rangers. Skaggs was 27.

Per the Times, the court filing shares some of the evidence against Kay, the team’s former communications director. He was described as the “singular source” of oxycodone pills for some players as far back as 2017. He allegedly supplied some players with “two to three pills, while others would ask for up to 20 pills.”

It was unclear whether the players who will testify are with the Angels, with other teams or still active.

“The evidence will also demonstrate that Kay often coordinated the distribution through text messages or through conversations involving the victim [Skaggs],” the filing said. “This witness testimony will in many instances be corroborated by text message communications…. Evidence will also demonstrate that Kay was motivated to obtain these pills because Kay could himself use some of the pills that he obtained for the players. It therefore provides context and background to the distribution at issue in the indictment.”

According to the court filing, prosecutors intend to show Skaggs offered Angels tickets and memorabilia as compensation as he tried to close some transactions with his suppliers.

Related: MLB games today – MLB schedule, TV info, scores, and key dates

–Field Level Media

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