The trial of former Angels PR director Eric Kay in the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs has been postponed to the end of January.
In a brief ruling issued Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, US District Judge Terry Means granted Kay’s lawyers’ motion to adjourn Monday’s trial.
Means wrote that “a refusal to grant the requested grace period would deprive the defendant’s counsel of the reasonable time required to effectively prepare, subject to due diligence.”
The trial is now slated for January 24, the sixth new trial date since Kay was indicted in August 2020.
The latest respite comes after a grand jury returned a surrogate charge against Kay on Tuesday that added the distribution of oxycodone to the existing charge, claiming he was distributing fentanyl.
Kay’s attorneys, Michael Molfetta and William Reagan Wynn, have demanded a delay, writing earlier this week that the substitute indictment undermined their judicial strategy and that they needed at least 30 days to prepare to defend the updated indictment.
The prosecutor’s office opposed the request, arguing this in response to US Assistant Atti. Lindsay Beran said oxycodone was added “to avoid confusing the jury,” and that the defense motion was “just another attempt to cause additional undue delay.”
Skaggs was found dead in a Texas hotel room on July 1, 2019, before the Angels began their streak against the Texas Rangers. An autopsy by a Tarrant County Medical Examiner revealed that Skaggs choked on vomit caused by “poisoning with a mixture of ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone.” Law enforcement found a fake oxycodone pill with fentanyl in a hotel room.
Prosecutors allege that Kay has been distributing oxycodone to Major League Baseball players since 2017 and supplying fentanyl, which led to Skaggs’ death. Kay pleaded not guilty.