Former colleague says ex-Angels employee saw Skaggs do drugs

According to testimony Monday, a former employee of the Los Angeles Angels accused of giving opioids to Tyler Skaggs in his overdose death said to a colleague that he saw the Angels pitcher take drugs that night.

Former colleague says ex-Angels employee saw Skaggs do drugs

Skaggs was later found dead in a Dallas hotel room.

Eric Prescott Kay is facing charges of drug distribution, and conspiracy. Chodzko testified that Chodzko confided to him about two weeks after Skaggs’ 2019 death.

Chodzko testified that Kay had told Chodzko that he declined an offer by Skaggs to share drugs with him. Kay, who had just completed a stint in drug rehabilitation, was one of Chodzko’s subordinates on Angels’ public relations staff at that time.

According to Chodzko who is now the Angels director of communications, Kay claimed he saw three lines on a table with drugs and then watched Skaggs take them out before leaving.

Kay's defense attorney stated in opening arguments that Skaggs was not in any kind of medical distress when Kay left his bedroom. On Monday, Kay's fourth day of testimony, a police detective testified that Kay had lied about Skaggs' last visit in the hours following the pitcher's death.

Skaggs (27), was found dead in his home on July 1, 2019. This was after Skaggs and his team had traveled from Los Angeles to begin a four-game series against Texas Rangers. Skaggs, 27, was found dead from a combination of alcohol, fentanyl, and oxycodone in his system, according to a coroner's report.

Kay was the team's public relation contact on numerous road trips. The Texas trip was his first since he returned from rehab. Kay was put on leave immediately after Skaggs's death and has never been back to the team.

Federal prosecutors claim Kay gave Skaggs fake oxycodone pills containing fentanyl to him after they arrived in Texas. According to the defense, Kay gave Skaggs drugs last in California. It is not possible to determine if Skaggs was killed by fentanyl.

Chris Leanos, who was under immunity to testify Monday, admitted that he was a dealer in drugs and said that he witnessed what he thought to be a drug-related transaction at an Angels charity event between Skaggs, Kay and Skaggs. Leanos said that Skaggs entered his bathroom through the door he kept guarded.

Skaggs asked Leanos to get oxycodone a week before his death, Leanos testified. Leanos, who claimed to have been friends with Skaggs ever since 2007, stated that he did not deal in oxycodone. He also warned Skaggs about the dangers of taking those pills.

Michael Molfetta, the defense attorney, interrogated Leanos during cross-examination. He asked how Leanos could possibly say "anything but get charged for it" and then he retorted.

Molfetta tried to get an estimate of Leanos' drug deals since 2018. Molfetta then asked Leanos, "What's your name and number for cocaine suppliers?" Leanos did not have to answer as the prosecution was able to sustain his objection.

Southlake Police Sgt. Jonathan Macheca, a Southlake police Sgt., testified that Kay claimed he had never seen Skaggs the night they checked in to the hotel. Macheca stated that Kay never spoke of seeing Skaggs use drugs or having seen them.

Prosecutors provided evidence of several communications claiming Kay arranged for drugs to arrive at Angel Stadium. Retired DEA agent Michael Ferry stated that former Angels pitcher Garrett Richards, Skaggs, and several Venmo transactions sent hundreds to Kay.

Richards is one of seven LA players who are on the witness list. Andrew Heaney was Skaggs' close friend and testified on the first day. Matt Harvey, a pitcher, is another witness. The defense has suggested that there was a drug-related relationship between Harvey and Skaggs.


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