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Baseball ex-staffer jailed for 22 years after star’s overdose death

Eric Kay was found guilty of distributing a controlled substance

Eric Kay, the former Los Angeles Angels communications director who was found guilty of distributing a controlled substance to deceased ex-Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, was hit with a 22-year term in prison for his crime on Tuesday.

Skaggs died aged 27 on July 1, 2019, while on a team trip in Texas. The Los Angeles native choked on his own vomit, and an autopsy revealed traces of alcohol, oxycodone and fentanyl in his system.

During Kay’s trial, government prosecutors presented evidence showing how he had distributed the pills to Skags, with one a 30-milligram oxycodone tablet laced with fentanyl.

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Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Geoffrey Lindenberg said a medical examiner had determined that “but for the fentanyl” in Skaggs’s system, the pitcher “would not have died.”

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© Global Look Press via ZUMA Press
‘No rest until we learn the truth’: Family of baseball star Skaggs after autopsy reveals overdose

A number of former Angels players including Matt Harvey, C.J. Cron, Mike Morin, and Cameron Bedrosian testified that Kay had provided them with oxycodone pills too, which led to a jury swiftly finding him guilty on two counts. 

Reacting to Kay’s sentencing, Skaggs’ family stated that they were grateful to those responsible for investigating and prosecuting the 48-year-old.

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“Today’s sentencing isn’t about the number of years the defendant received. The real issue in this case is holding accountable the people who are distributing the deadly drug fentanyl,” their statement said.

“It is killing tens of thousands of people every year in our country and destroying families along with it. We will continue the fight to hold responsible those who allowed Kay to provide a deadly drug to Tyler. But for their actions, Tyler would still be with us today.”

Kay’s legal team had argued that Skaggs and Kay were fellow addicts with an agreement that Skaggs would fund their drugs while Kay handled the transactions, ESPN reported earlier this year.

After the trial, Kay was recorded making disparaging remarks about Skaggs, his family and the jury that found him guilty in jailhouse calls and emails presented in court on Tuesday.

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“I hope people realize what a piece of s*** he is. Well, he’s dead, so f*** ‘em.” Kay told his mother, as reported by CNN.

Kay called Skaggs’ family “dumb” and “white trash,” and the jury that convicted him in February “fat, sloppy, toothless, and unemployed.”

In court this week, Kay said he regretted making the comments and that he was “selfish”. “Tyler Skaggs was a sweetheart of a man,” Kay claimed.

Judge Terry R. Means revealed that he added two more years to the 20-year minimum sentence due to Kay’s insulting remarks.

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Fans pay tribute to MLB pitcher Tyler Skaggs (right), of the Los Angeles Angels © Gary A Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports | © Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports
Former Los Angeles Angels employee could face LIFE in prison after being INDICTED over giving drug to pitcher who DIED of overdose

“What I see coming from your mouth… was not just vitriol but a callousness and a refusal to accept responsibility or even be remorseful for something you caused,” Means said.

Kay’s attorney requested the minimum sentence as Kay faced 20 years to life for distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

The Angels franchise said its compassion “goes out to the Skaggs family on this difficult day,” through spokesperson Marie Garvey. 

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In a statement, US Attorney Chad E. Meacham said the Skaggs family learned the hard way how one fentanyl pill can kill. 

“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,” Meacham added. 

“Mr. Skaggs did not deserve to die this way. No one does. We hope this sentence will bring some comfort to his grieving family.”

https://ift.tt/VqQCFYN 12, 2022 at 04:01PM
from RT – Daily news

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