A grand jury in Texas is hearing evidence regarding the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, something that that could lead to criminal charges, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Skaggs died from a combination of opioids and alcohol last July, a death that devastated the MLB community and led to MLB changing its opioid testing rules this winter. However, the tragedy also prompted questions of how Skaggs got the drugs in the first place, and who might have known about his addiction.
Angels have denied knowledge of Tyler Skaggs’ drug use
Former Angels communications director Eric Kay — later treated for substance abuse himself — was reported to have admitted to providing Skaggs the drugs and has cooperated with authorities on the matter. Kay reportedly told federal investigators that other Angels officials were previously aware of Skaggs’ drug use, which the club has denied.
According to the Times, neither Kay nor any player has been called to testify in front of the grand jury.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s investigation has included interviews with several current and former Angels players, and the news that evidence is being heard by a grand jury could indicate the case is expanding, as one law professor told the Times:
Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor, called the involvement of a grand jury “significant.”
Said Levenson: “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.”
It’s unclear what evidence is being presented to the grand jury, and also not known who exactly might be facing such charges.
Even if the criminal case doesn’t lead to convictions or even charges, the Times reports that Skaggs’ family could still use information from the investigation in a multi-million-dollar civil suit against any party that could be found responsible for the 27-year-old’s death.
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