Former Los Angeles Angels communications director Eric Kay has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted of providing the drugs that led to the death of Tyler Skaggs.
Kay, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with handcuffs and leg shackles, did not respond as U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means read his verdict. Kay faced a minimum of 20 years in prison on one of the two counts.
There was no reaction from Skagg’s widow and mother or members of Kay’s family, including one of his sons, who testified on his behalf before sentencing.
Prosecutors presented evidence of Kay, 48, making disparaging comments about Skaggs, his family, prosecutors and the jury in phone calls and emails after his conviction in February.
Judge Terry Means said he “dreaded” the verdict for Kay because he disagreed with the 20-year minimum. However, after Kay’s derogatory comments about the jury, prosecutors, Skaggs and his family extended Judge Means two years in response.
Tyler Skaggs’ family released a statement following Kay’s sentencing. It read: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who worked so hard to investigate and prosecute Eric Kay.
“Today’s sentencing is not about the number of years the defendant received. The real issue in this case is holding accountable the people distributing the deadly drug fentanyl. It kills tens of thousands of people in our country every year and destroys families with it.
“We will continue the fight to hold accountable those who allowed Kay to supply Tyler with a deadly drug. But for her actions, Tyler would still be with us today.”
In federal court in Fort Worth, about 15 miles from where the Angels played a four-game series against the Texas Rangers on July 1, 2019, the day Skaggs was found dead in a Dallas suburb should open, there were emotional statements from both sides of the hotel room.
Kay has been convicted once each of drug distribution resulting in death and drug conspiracy.
A coroner’s report said Skaggs, 27, choked on his vomit and had a toxic mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.
The trial included testimony from five major league players who said they received oxycodone pills from Kay at various times from 2017 to 2019, the years Kay was accused of receiving pills and admitting them to players at Angel Stadium to have. According to witness statements and court documents, Kay has also used drugs himself.