Former MLB staffer sentenced to over 20 years in prison for drugging pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who died of an opioid overdose

A former press secretary for the Los Angeles Angels was convicted 22 years in prison last week in connection with the overdose death of former MLB pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away in 2019.

Skaggs’ death shocked the sports world, particularly when it was revealed that the 27-year-old choked on his own vomit in a mid-season hotel room near Dallas on July 1. The Angels should start a series against the Texas Rangers. Coroners later stated that Skaggs had a “toxic mix” of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system. Skaggs’ death led to a change in the collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association, under which the MLBPA approved opioid testing for MLB players to prevent future deaths like Skaggs’.

The investigation into Skaggs’ death led to Eric Kay, an Angels employee who allegedly illegally provided drugs, including oxycodone, to Skaggs and other MLB players. During the trial, which took place earlier this year, numerous MLB players testified that Kay illegally administered oxycodone to them. prosecutors also claimed During the trial, Kay was in the room with Skaggs when he choked and made no attempt to render assistance. Kay was convicted by a jury in February on one charge of drug distribution resulting in death and one charge of drug conspiracy.

In a statement to ABC News, Kay’s attorney said, “Eric Kay will continue to fight the allegations. This is a tragic circumstance for all involved. Our hearts break for Tyler Skaggs’ family.”

Last week, the Skaggs family spoke for the first time about the dangers of fentanyl, particularly as it relates to professional athletes. Skaggs’ mother, Debbie Hetman, told ABC News, “Every professional athlete goes through injuries and there’s a lot of pressure to perform. Ty put a lot of pressure on himself to be the guy on the team who goes 200 innings and makes 30 starts. He may have decided he wanted to get through the season and he was in pain.”

Skaggs’ widow, Carli, said: “Fentanyl doesn’t discriminate, you know. What happened to Tyler can happen to anyone.” Former MLB staffer sentenced to over 20 years in prison for drugging pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who died of an opioid overdose

Laura Coffey

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