Ex-Angels employee Eric Kay indicted in connection with death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay on two charges in connection with the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs last year, according to federal court records.

Kay, the Angels’ former director of communications, was initially charged by authorities in late July with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. He was indicted on that same count Thursday, as well as an additional charge of distributing the fentanyl that led to Skaggs’ death.

The indictment, which was filed Friday morning in a U.S. District Court in Texas, followed motions in August and September to delay the proceedings, likely in pursuit of a plea agreement.

Kay has not entered a plea. His attorneys did not immediately reply to messages left by USA TODAY Sports on Friday. Kay faces up to life in federal prison if convicted.

Skaggs died in July 2019 at the age of 27. A left-handed pitcher with the Angels, his body was found in a Texas hotel room while the team was on a road trip. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that he had fentanyl, ethanol and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death.

The Angels honored Tyler Skaggs before a 2019 game.

Authorities alleged that Kay knowingly and willingly distributed “a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl” to Skaggs, and that the pitcher’s use of the substance led directly to his death.

According to a criminal complaint that was unsealed in August, federal investigators obtained text messages between Kay and Skaggs in which Skaggs asked Kay to deliver pills to his hotel room the night before his death.

“Hoe [sic] many?” Kay wrote to Skaggs in a text message, according to the complaint.

“Just a few like 5,” the pitcher answered.

Authorities also alleged the two men “had a history of narcotic transactions,” according to the complaint. Kay was indicted Thursday for conspiring to possess and distribute fentanyl “beginning in or before 2017.”

Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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