Eric Kay Indicted on Drug Charges Related to Death of Angels Pitcher Tyler Skaggs

The former communications director was charged in August with conspiracy to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of fentanyl

Tyler Skaggs
Tyler Skaggs. Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Eric Kay has been indicted on drug charges in relation to the death of Tyler Skaggs last year.

Kay, the former director of communications for the Los Angeles Angels, was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury, ESPN reported Friday. The U.S. Attorney's office and Kay's attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment Friday.

Kay previously admitted to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigators that he provided the 27-year-old pitcher with oxycodone and abused it with him for years.

According to an explosive ESPN report published last year, Kay told investigators he gave Skaggs three oxycodone pills a day or two before the Angels left California for Texas for a series against the Rangers. Kay also said he did not believe the pills he gave Skaggs were the same the athlete took the day he died because he usually consumed them immediately.

Skaggs died in July 2019 while in Texas. His cause of death was determined to be a mixture of "alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents," according to a toxicology report and autopsy from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner previously obtained by PEOPLE.

Eric Kay
Eric Kay. Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty

Skaggs choked on his vomit while under the influence and the death was ruled an accident. There were no signs of trauma, according to the toxicology report.

"It was later ascertained that but for the fentanyl, Mr. Skaggs would not have died," the U.S. Attorney's Office in Northern Texas said in a press release in August.

ESPN reported that authorities believe Skaggs was probably unaware that the oxycodone he was consuming contained fentanyl.

RELATED VIDEO: Everything to Know About Baseball Star Tyler Skaggs, 27, Who Was Found Dead in Texas Hotel Room

Kay was charged with conspiracy to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of fentanyl in August, the U.S. Attorney's Office said at the time.

If convicted, Kay could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Skaggs' family gave an emotional interview this summer marking the one-year anniversary of the athlete's death.

"His legacy is about the type of person that he was — how caring and loving, his kindness to others," Skaggs' mother, Debbie Hetman, said in a video interview with his wife Carli Skaggs. "That’s what’s so important about Tyler. He was a great baseball player but he was a greater person and man. Such an incredible loving and caring soul."

Tyler Skaggs
Tyler Skaggs. Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty

"He treated everyone with the same kindness and respect," Carli added.

The family has since created the Tyler Skaggs Foundation, which, according to its website, "empowers young people through the gift of sports."

"We started the foundation because growing up, [Tyler] was involved in a lot of sports and athletic teams and he made lifelong friends. Before he died, they were true friends at his wedding, just a part of his life. He also developed great relationships with his mentors and coaches," Skaggs' mother explained.

She continued, "For Tyler, he had such an amazing experience [playing sports], we wanted other kids to have that experience of being involved in athletics."

"We want to support athletic programs and initiatives that will help these kids learn valuable skills that they can carry with them through life," Carli added.

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