Sunday, November 27, 2022

Trial of Eric Kay, accused in death of Angels pitcher, enters second week

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Skaggs was discovered useless from a drug overdose in his upscale resort room July 1, 2019, not removed from the stadium the place the Angels have been scheduled to play the Texas Rangers. The accused is Eric Kay, the Angels’ communications director on the time who allegedly gave Skaggs the medication that killed him. Kay and Skaggs have been each in the grips of opioid addictions when Skaggs died, in accordance with testimony.

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A key piece of proof discovered in Skaggs’s resort room is a bit blue capsule, marked “M30,” falsely labeled as a “therapeutic” dose of oxycodone. In reality, it was fentanyl, a drug that may be 100 instances stronger, in accordance with the DEA.

Skaggs, at age 27, fell sufferer to an epidemic that’s now rising even sooner than when he died. In a one-year interval ending in April 2021, drug overdose deaths nationally totaled 100,306, a 28.5 % enhance from the 78,056 who died the yr earlier than, in accordance with the National Center for Health Statistics.

Much of that enhance was because of the explosion of fentanyl bought on the streets, the NCHS mentioned, usually in the shape of a “counterfeit oxycodone” capsule, such because the one discovered in Skaggs’s resort room.

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“It was the fentanyl that caused Tyler Skaggs’s death,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Beran mentioned Tuesday in her opening assertion to the jury in Kay’s trial.

But one of Kay’s protection legal professionals, Reagan Wynn, argued that there was no scientific proof that fentanyl alone might have killed Skaggs and advised as an alternative that the trigger could have been a mix of alcohol and oxycodone that was discovered in Skaggs’s physique.

Wynn’s argument was in protection of the federal government’s declare that Kay knew how deadly fentanyl is however gave it to Skaggs anyway as a result of it was cheaper to acquire.

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Kay has pleaded not responsible to 2 counts, one alleging he possessed and distributed a managed substance whereas working for the Angels and one other accusing him of “knowingly and intentionally” giving fentanyl to Skaggs, ensuing in his death. If convicted, he faces a minimal of 20 years in federal jail.

The authorities has mentioned Kay was assisted by “others” in arranging drug offers in main league baseball way back to 2017. And an FBI agent Friday testified that the textual content messages from cellphones registered to Kay — to a former low-level Angels worker and to a mysterious particular person recognized as “Ashley Smith” — could have been despatched to get the medication that have been discovered in Skaggs’s physique and in his resort room.

Under cross-examination by one of Kay’s protection legal professionals, nevertheless, FBI agent Mark Sedwick conceded that his data revealed the instances the texts have been made and the approximate areas of the cellphones however not the content material of the messages.

In final week’s proceedings, prosecutors famous the proximity between Kay and Skaggs, every touring on the identical staff bus from Angel Stadium to the constitution airplane that might take them to Texas on June 30, 2019, the evening earlier than Skaggs died.

But the protection argued that Skaggs additionally was surrounded by crowds of individuals throughout these hours, many of them followers, anyone of whom might have given him the medication that led to his death. In his opening assertion, protection lawyer Wynn conceded that his consumer had a “relationship” with Skaggs, not as a drug seller however quite as one other addict to opioids.

Wynn additionally mentioned Kay’s father had been hooked on medication and later died in a automotive accident. Rick Kay performed skilled soccer for the Los Angeles Rams in the Nineteen Seventies.

The trial resumed Monday, with MLB gamers anticipated to be known as to testify about what they know in regards to the prevalence of medication inside their ranks.

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