Updates After Day Five Of The Eric Kay Trial

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The fifth day of the Eric Kay trial started this morning. Kay is on trial for his alleged involvement in former Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ death.

Rebecca Schoeny, a catering manager at Angel Stadium, testified on Monday. It was revealed she was listed as “Ben R.” in Tyler Skaggs’ phone due to a selfie she sent from the number.

They texted on June 30th of 2019, just a day before Skaggs’ death. She had called him “boo” and they made a plan to meet. She testified today that they never met and were not in a romantic relationship. Schoeny also testified that she didn’t know he used drugs.

Angels communications director Adam Chodzko testified that Eric Kay had ‘erratic behavior’ in the days following Skaggs’ death. Chodzko stated that Kay also informed him that he was in Skaggs’ hotel room on the night of his death.

According to Sam Blum of The Athletic, Chodzko says he instructed Kay to inform Angels president John Carpino that he was in the hotel room the night of Skaggs’ death, or Chodzko himself would. Kay allegedly retreated to his room, reluctant to comply with the request.

Chodzko testified that he then phoned Carpino. After, Chodzko and Taylor took Kay to rehab. According to Blum, these events took place in the middle of July 2019, during the Angels’ home stand and several days following the team’s combined no-hitter.

T.J. Quinn of ESPN reported that the defense utilized cross-examination to try to show that players had complete control over staff, implying that Eric Kay would have done what Skaggs desired, not the other way around.

In this trial, the government is arguing that if it wasn’t for the fentanyl in the pills Skaggs snorted, he’d be alive. The defense has said there would be no medical way to say it wasn’t something else that caused his asphyxiation, like the grain alcohol he drank.

On day three of the trial, Dr. Marc Krouse, who was the medical examiner assigned to Skaggs autopsy in 2019, testified that Skaggs was legally intoxicated when he died and had stopped drinking hours before his death.

Krouse further testified that Skaggs had consumed oxycodone up to 30-60 minutes before his death. Skaggs died soon after consuming the fentanyl, according to Krouse. Krouse regarded the level of fentanyl as “possibly toxic.”

Skaggs mother, Debbie Hetman, appeared as a prosecution witness in the case against former Angels communications director Eric Kay on Tuesday.

Hetman said that Skaggs initially mentioned a problem with Percocet in 2013, and he quit “cold turkey” at the time.

Several former players are expected to testify this week, including Matt Harvey, who allegedly provided Skaggs with drugs.

The defense attorney last week said that Eric Kay asked Skaggs the night he died where he got pink pills. Skaggs then allegedly told him “those are Percocets I got from Harvey.”

The Angels designated Harvey for assignment just 18 days after Skaggs’ death due a string of bad performances on the mound.

At the opening of last Wednesday’s session, Andrew Heaney, a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was questioned. Skaggs’ former Angels teammate, Heaney was also a close friend of the pitcher.

Heaney testified on the stand that he smoked marijuana with Skaggs and that a number of players use opioid painkillers.

Heaney had testified last Tuesday that he had no knowledge of Skaggs’ drug usage. However, during last Wednesday’s cross-examination, he was asked about a text message he sent to Skaggs that said, “You’re extremely geetered right now.”

When asked what “geetered” meant, Heaney said, “I believe it’s a phrase for being high.” Heaney stated he didn’t know that it meant to be high on methamphetamine until defense attorney Molfetta mentioned the Urban Dictionary definition.