Press "Enter" to skip to content

Angels attorneys fight subpoena for privileged documents in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

The Los Angeles Angels organization is fighting a federal subpoena that it claims is a “fishing expedition” for privileged documents as prosecutors prepare for trial of the former team executive charged in the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs

In court documents filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, the Angels protested the subpoena, saying the team is fully cooperating with the investigation into Skaggs’ death and has voluntarily provided “almost one million pages” of documents related to the case.

Former Angels communications director Eric Kay has been charged with supplying the drugs that killed Skaggs before a game with the Texas Rangers on July 1, 2019.

“Angels Baseball produced to the government almost one million pages of documents related to (Skaggs) and Kay. Those documents included personnel files, medical records, policy manuals, all of Kay’s emails and documents from 2016 onward, and an image of Kay’s laptop computer,” said the filing by team lawyers Ariel A. Neuman and John H. Cayce. “Based upon the government’s public filings, it appears that many of those documents now form the basis for its prosecution.”

The Angels, they said, are not withholding evidence in Skaggs’ death, and prosecutors are engaged in a “fishing expedition” for documents protected by attorney-client privilege.

The team also noted it led prosecutors to a person identified only as “H.V.”

“Yet now the government asserts without evidence that there ‘must’ be more documents related to drug distribution,” said the Angels document. “The claim is baseless, and the government fails to meet its burden of specifically identifying relevant, admissible documents that would be responsive to the subpoena other that those protected by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine.”

Nearly two months after Skaggs died in a hotel room in Southlake, Texas, the Tarrant County medical examiner announced the results of an autopsy indicating his body contained alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone.

The Drug Enforcement Administration later determined that Kay had “a history of narcotic transactions, including several transactions wherein Kay acquired oxycodone pills for (Skaggs) and others from Kay’s source(s) and distributed these pills to (Skaggs) and others,” according to a federal affidavit. “Kay had multiple contacts with some of these source(s) in the days leading up to and surrounding (Skaggs) overdose death.”

Two weeks ago, prosecutors filed the motion asking the court to force Angels Baseball to turn over documents the team claimed were protected. Prosecutors said the team was using the confidentiality excuse to shield more evidence of “unlawful drug activity” that was found during an internal investigation.

In its response this week, the team said: “All Angels Baseball has withheld from the government is the identity of precisely which documents counsel reviewed, and which individuals counsel interviewed, because the documents counsel selected to review, and the people it chose to interview, reflect counsel’s strategy and mental impressions. That information is protected work product.”

Source: Orange County Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: