A federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, has granted a request to delay the trial of former Los Angeles Angels communications director Eric Kay, agreeing Wednesday that the defense needs more time to prepare after prosecutors expanded drug charges against Kay six days before the trial was to begin.
Kay is now scheduled to face trial Jan. 24 in connection with the 2019 death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Federal prosecutors expanded their charges against Kay with a superseding indictment Tuesday, saying he distributed the opioid oxycodone, in addition to the charge he was already facing for distributing fentanyl. Both drugs were found in the body of Skaggs, who died while on a team road trip in Southlake, Texas.
In their motion, defense attorneys said they were notified Sunday that prosecutors intended to get the superseding indictment. Kay's lawyers argued that the decision turned their defense on its head and that they needed time to prepare for the new allegation. Prosecutors opposed the motion, writing, "The defendant and his counsel have been aware of the evidence against the defendant for months."
But U.S. District Court Judge Terry R. Means agreed that after the government amended the charges, the defense was entitled to more time.
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.