Jul 12, 2019; Anaheim, CA; The Angels stand on the field for late pitcher Tyler Skaggs prior to the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.  Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The death of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs could eventually result in criminal charges, as the case is now under investigation by a grand jury.

According to a report from Bill Shaikin and Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times, a Texas grand jury has been hearing evidence that could lead to criminal charges related to Skaggs’ death. Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor, told the Times that the involvement of a grand jury in the case is “significant.”

“It means there’s at least some concern about how widespread this incident might be by those who provided drugs, were involved in the activities, knew about them, may have made misrepresentations, whatever the connection might be,” Levenson explained.

Skaggs died on July 1, 2019, after choking on his own vomit in a hotel room in Texas. An autopsy that was publicly released nearly two months later revealed that he had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. At least six players who were with the Angels at the time of Skaggs’ death have been interviewed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA has been investigating how Skaggs may have obtained fentanyl, and that could be related to the grand jury investigation.

Eric Kay, the former director of communications for the Angels, told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and used opioids himself. Kay also said two other former Angels employees, including his former supervisor Tim Mead, knew of Skaggs’ opioid use. Mead left the Angels in June to become the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kay had not been called to testify in front of a grand jury as of Monday, according to the L.A. Times report.

The Angels have denied having any knowledge of a team employee providing drugs to Skaggs. If it is determined that the team knew of Skaggs’ drug use, a significant fine could be forthcoming.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.



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