Medical expert who reviewed post-mortem testifies Tyler Skaggs died of OD attributable to fentanyl as protection questions stage at time of demise


FORT WORTH, Texas-A key query in figuring out whether or not former Los Angeles Angels communications director Eric Kay is answerable for the drug-related demise of Tyler Skaggs is figuring out precisely what killed him.

And if the jury ended week one of many US v. Eric Kay confused, it wouldn’t be a shock. The case in opposition to Kay is constructed on the federal government’s competition that he gave Skaggs tablets laced with fentanyl, and that the fentanyl immediately triggered Skaggs’ demise.

The official ruling by the health worker in 2019, nevertheless, was that Skaggs did have fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system, however that he died by asphyxiation after vomiting. That health worker, Dr. Marc Krouse, who misplaced his job final 12 months after a number of errors have been present in unrelated circumstances, testified Thursday that he stood by his ruling that Skaggs’ demise was unintentional. He stated the fentanyl elevated the likelihood of Skaggs’ demise, although he couldn’t say for sure it triggered it.

On Friday, nevertheless, the person who changed Krouse as deputy chief of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s workplace, Dr. Richard Fries, testified that Skaggs died of an overdose attributable to the fentanyl.

Prosecutors contend that “however for” the fentanyl, Skaggs would have lived.

Assistant US Legal professional Errin Martin requested Fries, “What was the ‘however for’ on this case?”

Fries responded, “On this case I’d take into account it the fentanyl.”

Fries, who didn’t conduct the post-mortem however reviewed Krouse’s post-mortem and the toxicology report, stated his conclusion was primarily based partially on the quantity of the extremely poisonous drug present in Skaggs’ physique. Throughout cross-examination, nevertheless, protection legal professional Michael Molfetta questioned Fries about research that advised fentanyl ranges can rise after somebody dies, because the physique absorbs extra of it.

When Molfetta requested Fries what the extent was on the time of Skaggs’ demise, Fries stated it was unattainable to know precisely, that it may have been the identical or larger.

In a made-for-TV second, Molfetta requested Fries for at the least the third time, “Isn’t it doable the extent was decrease?” Fries stared again for greater than 5 seconds earlier than saying, “It’s doable.”

Molfetta concluded his questioning by asking, “In rooms like this, it’s not about maybes, it’s sure or no. Do you agree that it’s about proof past an affordable doubt?”

Fries answered, “That’s my understanding.”

One other alternate additionally had blended outcomes for the federal government. Prosecutors referred to as FBI Particular Agent Mark Sedwick to testify about his evaluation of cellular phone data to find out the place Kay was when he had quite a few conversations with an individual recognized by each side as a drug vendor. That cellphone is registered to an “Ashley Smith,” though each side stated that’s an alias for a drug vendor. The federal government confirmed quite a few calls and texts between Kay and “Ashley Smith” within the days main as much as Skaggs’ demise, as prosecutors have stated Kay obtained medication after which gave them to Skaggs in Texas. However on cross-examination, Sedwick stated there was just one time when he may determine the telephones from Kay and “Smith” as being in the identical space, and that was June 28, two days earlier than the group’s journey to Texas.

The trial resumes Monday, with a number of of Skaggs’ former Angels teammates anticipated to testify about their very own drug use.

There was one second of levity Friday when Assistant U.S. Legal professional Lindsey Beran handed a witness a protecting glove to deal with a chunk of proof, and the witness was unable to place it on.

“It doesn’t match,” he stated.

Decide Terry R. Means, whose dry Texas quips have offered comedian aid all week, fired again, “Guess now we have to acquit.”

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