Days after a former member of the team was given a 22-year jail term for providing the fentanyl-laced drugs that caused pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ 2019 death, his mother and widow have spoken out.
Tyler’s mother Debbie Hetman and widow Carli Skaggs spoke with Good Morning America on Friday morning in their first public appearance since Tyler’s passing.
I found it hard to believe it was real. Hetman recounted the day Tyler, 27, was discovered dead in a Dallas hotel room when the Angels were on the road in Texas. “I mean, that day still haunts me,” he said.
On July 1, 2019, Carli said that she was driving when she saw a call come in from the Angels general manager and “knew it was awful.”
I was unwilling to hear what he had to say. In that instant, I realized my life had changed forever,” she said. She claimed, however, that she had “not a clue” that her spouse was doing drugs and that it was “the last notion that entered my mind.”
Tuesday saw a kind of resolution to the family’s grief when former Angels communications director Eric Kay was given a 22-year jail term for delivering the narcotics that caused Tyler to overdose and die.
In light of the current fentanyl epidemic, Hetman stated, “We’re lucky because we can hold someone responsible for our son’s death and a lot of families aren’t able to do that right now.”
I really miss Tyler. He was my only child, and as you may know, I won’t be a grandmother. The devastated mother said, “I’m not going to be able to hug a grandchild and such things.”
After the tragic Texas road trip, Carli stated that the couple had been considering trying for their first child.
When we discussed it four days before to his passing, he remarked, “When I come back from Texas,” the widow remembered.
He would have been a wonderful parent. I often ponder if I’ll ever be as happy as I was since he was so good with children. You see, I have a lot of healing to do. I’m certain I’ll make it there, she remarked.
In court, the prosecution presented proof that Kay, 48, had made disparaging remarks about Skaggs, his family, the prosecution, and the jury in emails and phone conversations following his conviction in February.
He’s dodged during the last three years, Hetman said in the interview. He hasn’t accepted accountability. And it’s wrong that he said the things he did about my kid, my family, and myself.
She also criticized Kay for allegedly being there when Skaggs overdosed but not intervening.
“That always looms over me.” to believe that someone is around yet fails to assist your kid or child. Such a tragedy, she remarked.
Carli bemoaned the fact that she didn’t accompany her husband to Dallas.
You know, I constantly wonder why I didn’t go to Texas if I could have. She added, “I wish I could have been there to rescue him; he shouldn’t have required it.
At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the court increased Kay’s sentence by two years, to a total of twenty years, in response to his comments against Skaggs and his family while he was inside.
When U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means read Kay’s sentence, she was wearing an orange jumpsuit with handcuffs and leg shackles.
On July 1, 2019, the day Skaggs was discovered dead in a suburban Dallas hotel room, there was dramatic testimony from both sides in federal court in Fort Worth, which is just 15 miles from the location where the Angels were scheduled to begin a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.
On one count of drug conspiracy and one count of drug distribution resulting in death, Kay was found guilty.
According to a coroner’s report, Skaggs, 27, choked to death on his own vomit and had a hazardous combination of oxycodone, alcohol, and fentanyl in his system.
Five players from the major leagues testified in the trial that they got oxycodone pills from Kay at different times between the years of 2017 and 2019, which are the years Kay was accused of buying drugs and providing them to players at Angel Stadium.
Both the evidence and the court records indicate that Kay took narcotics personally.
Prior to his sentence, he was incarcerated in Fort Worth, Texas, but he will likely spend the 22 years in his native California.
Kay’s lawyers have said that they want to challenge his conviction.