Trial of ex-Angels employee in connection with Tyler Skaggs' death is delayed again

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ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 12: Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels speaks to Eric Kay in the dugout.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout, wearing a Tyler Skaggs jersey, speaks to Eric Kay before a game at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2019. (John McCoy / Getty Images)

The trial of ex-Angels employee Eric Kay in connection with the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs has been delayed for a third time.

In response to a defense motion, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means issued an order Wednesday rescheduling the trial for Oct. 4. The order said that “a failure to grant a continuance would deny counsel for the defendant the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation …”

The trial was supposed to begin Aug. 16 in Fort Worth, but one of Kay’s attorneys, William Reagan Wynn, argued in a motion last week that the defense needed more time to review evidence.

The motion surfaced the possibility of “unindicted co-conspirators” — Kay is the lone person charged — but didn’t provide specifics.

“From their review of discovery provided to date, undersigned counsel have identified at least three, if not more, persons who could be argued to be un-indicted co-conspirators in Count One,” the motion said.

“For purposes of defending the allegations in Count One, it is necessary for undersigned counsel to thoroughly review and analyze the communications, travel, and financial data contained in the numerous … files provided in an attempt to put information the Government has identified as relevant into context as well as to search for additional data demonstrating connections, or lack thereof, between the persons who could potentially be part of the alleged conspiracy.”

A grand jury indicted Kay last fall on counts of conspiring to “possess with the intent to distribute” fentanyl “beginning in or before 2017” and distributing the drug that allegedly led to Skaggs’ death in a Texas hotel room on July 1, 2019.

Kay, who worked as the team’s communications director, has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators found a counterfeit oxycodone pill containing fentanyl in Skaggs’ hotel room.

“It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs’] system, [he] would not have died,” Geoffrey Lindenberg, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, wrote in an affidavit.

In the motion, the defense said that “undersigned counsel believe there is a substantial issue of fact as to whether [Skaggs’] death would have not occurred ‘but for’ ingesting the specific substance allegedly delivered by Defendant on the date in question.”

Prosecutors opposed the motion to delay the trial, writing that “it appears the defendant merely needs additional time to review discovery …”

Kay is facing a legal fight on another front. Last month, Skaggs’ family sued the Angels, Kay and former vice president of communications Tim Mead in California and Texas for wrongful death. The Angels called the allegations in the lawsuits "baseless and irresponsible.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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