PEOPLE – Eric Kay, former Los Angeles Angels communications director, has been convicted on two drug charges related to the 2019 overdose death of Tyler Skaggs.
A jury in Fort Worth, Texas, found Kay guilty of providing Skaggs — then a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels — with fentanyl, which led to his death at age 27 in a Dallas-area hotel room in July 2019, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad Meacham announced on Thursday.
“According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Kay distributed the pills that killed Mr. Skaggs,” a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office read.
Deliberation took less than an hour and a half before a verdict was reached.
The charges — conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury — could mean Kay, 47, might face decades in prison, the New York Times reports.
“We have no doubt that the Angels knew what Eric Kay was doing, and the team is morally and legally responsible for his conduct.”
The former Angels communications director’s sentencing is set for June 28 of this year, with the Northern Texas Attorney’s release adding that he will face a minimum of 20 years to life behind bars.
“I’m in shock,” Eric’s mother, Sandy Kay, said shortly after the verdict was read, per the Times.
“The trial showed Eric Kay’s drug trafficking was known to numerous people in the Angels organization, and it resulted in the tragic and unnecessary death of one of their most popular players,” Skaggs family attorney Rusty Hardin said, per the Los Angeles Times.
He also said civil suits against the Angels and Kay would proceed.
“We have no doubt that the Angels knew what Eric Kay was doing, and the team is morally and legally responsible for his conduct,” Hardin said, per the New York Times.
“In the upcoming civil cases, we are looking forward to holding the team accountable … ”