TARRANT COUNTY, Texas - Former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for giving pitcher Tyler Skaggs pills laced with fentanyl that ended up killing him.
In February, Kay was found guilty of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
In 2019, the Angels were in Texas to play the Rangers when the 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead inside of his Southlake hotel room with a mix of ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.
Investigators found pills inside Skaggs' hotel room that looked like oxycodone tablets. Analysis later revealed the pills were laced with fentanyl.
Kay, the Angels communications director at the time, originally denied giving the pills to Skaggs in an interview with law enforcement.
Investigators later found text messages from Skaggs asking Kay to stop by his room with pills on the night of his death.
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 12: Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels speaks to Eric Kay in the dugout before playing against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Several Angels players, including Matt Harvey, C.J. Cron, Mike Morin, and Cameron Bedrosian, testified that Kay gave oxycodone pills to them as well.
At Tuesday's sentencing hearing, prosecutors played jailhouse phone calls and emails from Kay to show his lack of remorse.
"I hope people realize what a piece of s*** he is," he told his mother in a recorded call. "Well, he’s dead, so f*** ‘em."
He also mocked the Skaggs family, calling them "dumb" and "white trash" and prompted his mother to plant negative stories about them in the media.
"All they see are dollar signs," he said of the Skaggs family. "They may get more money with him dead than he was playing because he sucked."
The Skaggs family released a statement shortly after the final sentence was announced.
Following the hearing U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said, ""The Skaggs family learned the hard way: 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."