Eric Kay Trial: Matt Harvey Says He Takes Pills From Angels Employee

FORT WORTH – Pills passed between players and team workers. His teammates did everything they could to recover from injuries and keep themselves on the pitch. On the sixth day of the trial of Eric Kay, a former Angels employee, for his role in the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, Matt Harvey and three other former Angels players took the stand and said they had taken oxycodone from Kay.

Kay, a former communications director for the Angels, is accused of supplying Skaggs with fentanyl, an opioid that led to her death in a Dallas area hotel room in 2019, two weeks before Skaggs’ 28th birthday.

Prosecutors argued that Skaggs’ death was the result of a pill or pills she took from Kay that looked like oxycodone but was actually fentanyl, a stronger opioid. A medical doctor testified earlier in the trial that fentanyl was the most likely cause of death.

Known for enjoying nightlife during his tenure as pitcher for the Mets, Harvey testified Tuesday in exchange for immunity. A look at drug use among Major League Baseball players, Harvey discussed how cocaine was his drug of choice during his time in New York, and began using Percocet, an opioid, during the 2019 season. He said he shared some Percocet with Skaggs.

Kay’s lawyers asked Harvey if he had asked Skaggs to be mindful of his drug use.

“Looking back, I wish I was,” he said. “In baseball, you do everything you can to stay on the court. At the time, as a teammate, I just felt like I was helping him do whatever he needed to get through.”

Federal prosecutors are trying to establish a case that reveals that Kay was the only person who could supply the drugs that led to Skaggs’ death, and that the drugs were given to Skaggs in Texas. The defense said Skaggs had several drug sources, including Harvey, and Kay did not supply any drugs during his Texas trip.

If Kay is convicted of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury, he could face decades in prison.

In his testimony Tuesday, Harvey said an injury prevented him from joining his teammates on the 2019 Texas tour. Ahead of the trip, she said she had asked Kay about getting some oxycodone, and she said Kay took it. It’s stuck in Harvey’s locker – a delivery system that resonated with multiple players on Tuesday.

When Harvey heard of Skaggs’ death, he decided to ditch the oxycodone.

“I went to the stadium and threw it,” he said. “I didn’t want to do absolutely anything with it anymore.”

Credit…Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Harvey said he was frightened and worried that Skaggs’ death may have been caused by the pills. While mourning Skaggs’ death, he flew to Texas to be with his teammates.

“I felt so bad,” she said. “He was a teammate. He was a friend. I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted to be with the team.”

After Harvey testified, three other former Angels players – CJ Cron, Cam Bedrosian and Mike Morin – took the stand and each talked about his relationship with Kay and Skaggs, and each discussed taking pills from Kay.

Harvey talked about problems with some pills.

“I cut it in half and took a small piece from the mouth,” Harvey said. “I was shaking and sweating a lot. I had a hard time with him.”

Bedrosian, a pitcher who was with the Angels from 2014 to 2020, had similar statements about the pills she said she took from Kay.

“I remember getting one and I didn’t feel well,” Bedrosian said. “I gave the rest back to him.”

Morin and Cron, who testified about their long-term relationship with Kay where pills were routinely replaced, said they were linked to Kay through Skaggs. And all four testifying said there was a visibly difficult time to find drugs, coinciding with a time when Kay was seeking treatment for her own opioid addiction.

Upon cross-examination of the players, Kay’s lawyers attempted to establish that Skaggs may have taken the drugs from someone else, potentially at Long Beach Airport in California. The defense believes that any drugs supplied to Skaggs outside of Texas would fall outside the jurisdiction of this court, but prosecutors will argue that activities outside of Texas still apply if they were part of an ongoing criminal conspiracy.

The trial will continue this week and could be postponed to next week due to a long list of potential witnesses.

Marina Trahan Martinez reported from Fort Worth and Benjamin Hoffman of Connecticut.

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