One week before former Los Angeles Angels communications director Eric Kay is scheduled to go on trial in connection with the death of Tyler Skaggs, defense attorneys are seeking to delay proceedings after federal prosecutors said they planned to amend the charges against him.
According to a motion filed Monday, federal prosecutors want to add a charge to Kay's case, saying he distributed the opioid oxycodone, in addition to the charge he's already facing for distributing fentanyl. Both drugs were found in the body of Skaggs, who died in July 2019 while on a team road trip in Southlake, Texas. The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 8, in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth.
In their motion, defense attorneys say they were notified Sunday that prosecutors intend to get a superseding indictment against Kay this week to add the oxycodone charge. They say that turns their defense on its head, and they're seeking at least a 30-day delay in the trial.
"The legal accusations against Mr. Kay have consistently been that he conspired to possess with intent to deliver fentanyl, not oxycodone, over a more than two year period and that he actually delivered fentanyl to Tyler Skaggs on June 30, 2019," the motion says.
Defense attorneys went on to argue that they built their defense around the idea they would seek to exclude or limit evidence that Kay provided oxycodone to Skaggs and other people, and now will have to prepare for the new allegation.
In a filing Tueday, the U.S. Attorney's office sought to block Kay's request for a continuance. "The defendant and his counsel have been aware of the evidence against the defendant for months," prosecutors said in the filing. "They have been aware that the government intended to present evidence of his entire drug distribution conspiracy, including both his oxycodone distribution and his fentanyl distribution. The defendant's motion to continue is just another attempt to cause additional, unwarranted delay."
Michael Molfetta, a lawyer for Kay, declined to comment Monday.
As ESPN reported in 2019, Kay told U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he regularly provided oxycodone to Skaggs in an arrangement in which Kay would obtain drugs for both of them with Skaggs' money. The government has said Kay was effectively a dealer himself, asking drug suppliers to deliver opioids to Angel Stadium and providing drugs to numerous players.
An autopsy determined that Skaggs asphyxiated on his vomit after ingesting oxycodone, fentanyl and grain alcohol.