Kay trial: 4 MLB gamers testify they bought medication

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FORT WORTH, Texas — The trial to find out whether or not Eric Kay was chargeable for the loss of life of Tyler Skaggs became a bigger glimpse into brazen drug use within the Los Angeles Angels‘ clubhouse, as 4 former gamers testified Tuesday about their very own opioid histories.

Pitchers Matt Harvey, Mike Morin and Cam Bedrosian and first baseman C.J. Cron all took the stand and described bits and items of leisure drug use allegedly occurring in and across the Angels three years in the past, after they performed for the crew. Every was with the Angels sooner or later from 2017 to 2019, the years federal prosecutors say Eric Kay obtained medication for gamers. Kay faces drug distribution and drug conspiracy fees.

Prosecutors rested their case to complete probably the most dramatic day of the weeklong trial, which included testimony from Skaggs’ widow in regards to the final time she noticed her husband and the final textual content she obtained from him the night time earlier than he was discovered lifeless in a suburban Dallas resort room.

“I am sorry, guys,” Carli Skaggs informed the 10-woman, two-man jury at one level throughout a number of pauses to attempt to converse extra clearly or compose herself. “That is simply actually arduous for me.”

Skaggs’ emotional look got here after her husband’s former teammates spent the morning explaining their very own drug use and the way they bought medication from Kay, Skaggs and different sources, whereas saying that the usage of oxycodone and over-the-counter drugs equivalent to Tylenol was widespread within the huge leagues.

Prosecutors additionally offered arguably their strongest witness of the trial, Dr. Stacey Hail, an emergency medical doctor and toxicologist from Dallas. Hail bolstered the federal government’s accusation that the fentanyl Skaggs snorted is what killed him, a key level the federal government should show. The health worker who carried out the official post-mortem testified final week he couldn’t say definitively if Skaggs would have lived “however for” the fentanyl. The federal government has primarily based its case on the assumption that it did.

The protection, which can also be disputing the prosecution’s competition that Kay delivered medication to Skaggs after the crew traveled to Texas, opens its case Wednesday in downtown Fort Value. The federal court docket is about 15 miles from the Texas Rangers’ ballpark, the place the Angels had been imagined to play the day Skaggs’ physique was discovered.

After saying he was subpoenaed and would have used his Fifth Modification proper to not testify with out immunity, Harvey acknowledged being a cocaine person earlier than and through his season with the Angels in 2019. The previous Mets star mentioned he tried oxycodone offered by Skaggs throughout his season with the Angels and in addition offered medication to Skaggs.

Morin and Cron testified to longer intervals of getting oxycodone from Kay, whereas Bedrosian mentioned he obtained three or 4 capsules as soon as and gave the remainder again after taking one and never liking the way in which it made him really feel.

Of the 4 gamers, solely Cron is on a significant league roster (Rockies). The others are free brokers; Harvey, who performed final 12 months for the Orioles, mentioned he believes his testimony will threaten his profession. Andrew Heaney, certainly one of Skaggs’ closest pals with the Angels and now underneath contract with the rival Dodgers, was the primary authorities witness final week.

Skaggs, 27, was discovered lifeless July 1, 2019, in a suburban Dallas resort room after the crew had traveled from Los Angeles and earlier than the beginning of what was imagined to be a four-game collection in opposition to the Rangers. A coroner’s report mentioned Skaggs had choked to loss of life on his vomit, and a poisonous mixture of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone was in his system.

Kay served because the crew’s public relations contact on many street journeys, and the journey to Texas was his first since getting back from rehab. Kay was positioned on depart shortly after Skaggs’ loss of life and by no means returned to the crew.

Federal prosecutors try to determine that Kay was the one one who may have offered the medication that led to Skaggs’ loss of life, and that the medication had been delivered after the crew arrived in Texas. The protection counters that Skaggs had a number of suppliers, and that the final medication Kay gave him had been delivered earlier than the crew left.

Harvey mentioned Skaggs had one other supply however did not get many medication from that supply. Harvey mentioned he had his personal drug provider on the East Coast, and mentioned he bought oxycodone for Skaggs from that provider.

The protection requested Harvey and Morin in the event that they had been conscious of the hazard of blending alcohol and oxycodone, they usually mentioned they had been. Protection lawyer Michael Molfetta requested Harvey if he ever requested Skaggs to watch out.

“Trying again, I want I had,” Harvey mentioned. “In baseball you do all the things you possibly can to remain on the sector. On the time I felt as a teammate I used to be simply serving to him get via no matter he wanted to get via.”

Harvey mentioned he discovered Skaggs had died when he awakened July 1 and threw away the remaining oxycodone capsules he had, even earlier than understanding something about the reason for loss of life.

“I needed completely nothing to do with that anymore, and I used to be very scared,” mentioned Harvey, who additionally mentioned oxycodone and Tylenol use was widespread within the main leagues.

Cron mentioned he obtained capsules from Kay whereas with the Angels in 2017 and was nonetheless getting them from him after going to the Rays in 2018. He mentioned Kay was his solely provider.

Carli Skaggs mentioned she went to the Angels’ dwelling recreation in opposition to the Athletics earlier than the crew left for Texas and noticed Skaggs within the household room earlier than the gamers boarded a bus for the airport. The final textual content she obtained, “miss you babe,” was despatched simply after midnight Texas time, or 10 p.m. in California.

On cross-examination, Molfetta requested Carli Skaggs a few textual content she despatched to her husband that informed him do not get drunk and go to sleep, and a subsequent textual content after no response wherein she wrote, “You’ve a consuming drawback, I am about to inform Tom Taylor,” referring to the Angels’ touring secretary.

“You are asking a few textual content that I despatched out of anger saying one thing that wasn’t true that my husband could not reply to as a result of he was lifeless,” Carli Skaggs responded.

Info from ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and The Related Press was used on this report.

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