A federal court docket has rejected former Angels communications director Eric Kay’s attraction of his two felony convictions within the loss of life of Tyler Skaggs in a terse, four-page ruling that affirmed Kay’s guilt for supplying the fentanyl-laced oxycodone that killed the Angels pitcher in 2019.
Kay was sentenced to 22 years in federal jail in October 2022. Skaggs died in his Southlake, Texas, lodge room on July 1, 2019, after the 27-year-old took the medicine equipped to him by Kay. The Angels have been to start a collection in opposition to the Texas Rangers the following day.
Kay’s attraction contended that the proof at trial was inadequate to maintain both conviction or to indicate that the correct venue for trial was Texas. Kay additionally challenged the propriety of statements made by the prosecutor throughout her closing arguments.
The U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the convictions Wednesday, writing within the ruling that the proof would permit an affordable jury to conclude that Kay met together with his provider in California and obtained the tablets after Skaggs requested him to take action, that Kay gave the tablets to Skaggs in Texas, and that Skaggs died after ingesting one of many tainted tablets. Two docs testified at Kay’s trial that the fentanyl was the reason for Skaggs’ loss of life.
The court docket additionally rejected Kay’s assertion that the prosecutor made improper remarks throughout closing arguments by misstating proof, vouching for the credibility of presidency witnesses and personally attacking the protection
“The prosecutor didn’t personally assault protection counsel,” the court docket said. “The challenged comment as an alternative targeted the jury on the weaknesses within the protection’s case and emphasised Kay’s incapability to refute or undermine the inculpatory proof.
“Lastly, even when a comment may very well be construed because the prosecutor’s vouching for the credibility of the baseball gamers who testified that Kay offered them oxycodone, Kay doesn’t deny that he did in actual fact distribute medicine to these gamers.”
Former Angels gamers Matt Harvey, C.J. Cron, Mike Morin and Cameron Bedrosian testified at trial that Kay distributed 30-milligram oxycodone tablets nicknamed “blue boys” to them at Angel Stadium.
At Kay’s sentencing listening to a 12 months in the past, U.S. District Decide Terry R. Means stated he had been “dreading this present day” as a result of he felt the obligatory minimal of 20 years Kay confronted was extreme. However the decide added two years to the entire due to disparaging cellphone calls and emails by Kay that authorities intercepted after his conviction in February 2022.
Kay insulted Skaggs throughout a recorded jailhouse name, telling his mom, “I hope individuals notice what a chunk of sh— he’s. Effectively, he’s useless, so f— ‘em.” He instructed that his mom plant adverse tales concerning the Skaggs household within the media and referred to as the household “white trash.”
“All they see are greenback indicators,” he stated of the Skaggs household. “They could get extra money with him useless than he was taking part in as a result of he sucked.”
Kay additionally demeaned the jurors that convicted him, calling them “fats, sloppy, toothless and unemployed.”
Kay, 49, is serving his sentence on the Federal Correctional Establishment in Englewood, Colo. He’s scheduled for launch in 2041.
Skaggs’ widow and oldsters have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in opposition to the Angels, claiming the group knew or ought to have identified sufficient about Skaggs’ drug use to stop his loss of life. A trial initially scheduled to start in October has been postponed due to pretrial motions pertaining to proof.