Skaggs trial: 4 MLB players testify that they were given drugs

Tuesday's testimony by four major league players revealed that they were given oxycodone pills by a former Los Angeles Angels employee.

Skaggs trial: 4 MLB players testify that they were given drugs

This is the person who was accused of giving Tyler Skaggs the drugs that caused the pitcher's death.

Matt Harvey, Mike Morin, and Cam Bedrosian were the pitchers. C.J. was the first baseman. Cron, Mike Morin, Matt Harvey and Cam Bedrosian were the Angels' pitchers. C.J. was the first baseman. They were there at one point between 2017-19, when federal prosecutors claim Eric Kay obtained drugs from players. Kay is facing drug distribution and conspiracy charges.

To end the most dramatic day in the weeklong trial, the prosecution rested their case. This included testimony from Skaggs’ widow about her last visit with her husband and the last text message she received from him that night.

Carli Skaggs said "I'm sorry guys," to the 10-woman jury, at one point, while taking several pauses to compose herself or speak clearly. "This is really difficult for me."

Skaggs was emotional after former teammates of her husband spent the morning explaining how they got their drugs from Kay, Skaggs, and other sources. They also said that oxycodone and other over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol were common in the major leagues.

Defense, which disputes the prosecution's claim that Kay gave drugs to Skaggs during team travels to Texas, opens its case Wednesday, in downtown Fort Worth. The federal court is located about 15 miles from Texas Rangers' home, where Skaggs was found.

Harvey admitted that he used cocaine before and during the Angels season in 2019, after he said he was subpoenaed. Harvey, a former New York Mets star, said that he used Skaggs' oxycodone during his Angels season and also gave drugs to Skaggs.

Cron and Morin both testified that Kay gave oxycodone for longer periods. Bedrosian, however, said he only received one or two pills from Kay and then gave the rest back after he felt uncomfortable with the effects.

Only Cron, out of the four, is on a major-league roster (Colorado Rockies). Harvey, who was a player last year with the Orioles said that he fears Harvey's testimony could endanger his career. Andrew Heaney was last week's first witness in the government. Heaney is a close friend of Skaggs and now has a contract with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Skaggs (27), was found dead on July 1, 2019. This happened the day after Skaggs and his team traveled from Los Angeles, and before the series against the Rangers began. Skaggs, 27, was found dead by his own hands. His system contained toxic levels of alcohol, fentanyl, and oxycodone, according to a coroner.

Kay was the team's public relation contact on numerous road trips. The Texas trip was Kay's first since he returned from rehabilitation. Kay was put on leave soon after Skaggs's death, and never returned to work.

Prosecutors want to prove that Kay was the only person who could have supplied the drugs that caused Skaggs death. The drugs were delivered to Skaggs after the team arrived in Texas. Skaggs claimed that he had many suppliers and that Kay was the last person to give him drugs before the team left.

Harvey claimed Skaggs had a second source, but didn't receive many drugs from it. Harvey claimed he had an East Coast drug supplier and that he obtained oxycodone from this supplier.

Harvey stated that Skaggs requested pills prior to a June 2019 road trip because he wanted "loosey-goosey", before a start. Harvey claimed Skaggs said that he once took an oxycodone tablet and snorted it onto a paper towel dispenser at the Angels' clubhouse.

Harvey and Morin were asked by the defense if they knew about the dangers of mixing alcohol with oxycodone. They said yes. Michael Molfetta, defense attorney, asked Harvey if Skaggs had ever warned him to be cautious.

Harvey stated, "Looking back, it's something I wish I'd done." "In baseball, you have to do everything possible to keep on the field. As a teammate, I felt that I was helping him through whatever he needed.

Harvey claimed that Skaggs died after he woke up on July 1, and that he then tossed away any remaining oxycodone pills, even though he didn't know anything about the cause.

Harvey said that oxycodone use and Tylenol were common in major leagues.

Cron claimed that he was given pills by Kay in 2017 while he was with the Angels and continued to receive them after he moved to Tampa Bay in 2018. He stated that Kay was his sole supplier.

Carli Skaggs claimed she attended the Angels' game against Oakland before the team headed to Texas. She also saw Skaggs in her family room as the players were about to board a bus for Texas. She received the last text, "missing you babe," shortly after midnight Texas time or at 10 p.m. in California.

Carli Skaggs stated that she did not know the extent of her husband’s drug use, and would have done more to stop it if she had. He felt pressured to keep his health and continue in the major leagues, she said.

Molfetta questioned Carli Skaggs, a cross-examination of which revealed that she had sent a text to her husband in which she advised him not to get drunk and fall asleep. A subsequent text, after no response, was written by Molfetta, in which she said, "You have an alcohol problem, I'm going to tell Tom Taylor." This refers to the Angels' traveling secretary.

Carli Skaggs replied, "You're asking me about a text I sent out of anger and that contained something that was false that my husband couldn’t respond to because it was too late for him."

Expert witness Dr. Stacey Hail for the government testified that Skaggs was killed by fentanyl. This is a crucial aspect of the prosecution's case since an autopsy determined that Skaggs' death was accidental due to the mixture of drugs and alcohol.

Former DEA agent Susannah Herkert was the final witness. She was a former pilot for the agency. Herkert testified that anyone not belonging to the Angels' group would have difficulty getting into Long Beach Airport. Skaggs' drug-dealing friend could have met Skaggs at the airport and given him drugs. This is part of the defense's case.


 

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