Report: Grand jury hearing evidence on Tyler Skaggs' death as potential criminal charges loom

A grand jury in Texas is hearing evidence regarding the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, something 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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Tyler Skaggs through the years
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Tyler Skaggs through the years
USA starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs delivers a pitch against the World team during the first inning of the All Star Futures baseball game Sunday, July 10, 2011, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Arizona Diamondbacks' Tyler Skaggs delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 05: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #37 of the Arizona Diamondbacks sits in the dugout during the MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on July 5, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 5-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 11: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim talks to Mike Butcher #23 during the game against the New York Mets at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 11, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 08: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim catches a baseball during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 8, 2014 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 24: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles of Anaheim poses for a portrait while displaying the scar from a 2014 Tommy John surgery at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 28: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the second inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers on August 28, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Angels defeated the Tigers 5-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the dugout during the third inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 13, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs (45) is pulled from the game and heads for the dugout in the fifth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners, on September 29, 2017, played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Martin Maldonado #12 catcher of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim talks with starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 25, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Catcher Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches as manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim takes the ball from starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 to take Skaggs out of the game during the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 29: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 29, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 18: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim points to first base in the first inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 18, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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