A grand jury in Texas has been hearing evidence that could lead to criminal charges related to the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, according to the Los Angeles Times. Two people told the Los Angeles Times about the proceedings but "spoke on condition of anonymity." Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor told the Los Angeles Times the grand jury getting involved is "significant."
"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," Levenson said.
Skaggs was found dead in his Texas hotel room on July 1 just hours after the Angles arrived in California. An autopsy revealed Skaggs had "a mix of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system led him to choke on his own vomit." The death was ruled an accident.
The Skaggs' family hired an attorney as the death was being investigated by the Southlake, Texas, police and Major League Baseball.
"We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol," the family said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times via Sporting News. "That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much.
"We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler's death. We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us."
In October, the DEA interviewed Angels players when they got involved in the investigation. The team released a statement at the time about their knowledge of Skaggs and other players reported use of opioids.
"We are shocked to hear these reports. ... We had no prior knowledge of Tyler or any other member of the Angels organization having abused opioids or any narcotic and continue to work with law enforcement to get answers," team spokesperson Marie Garvey said.
Skaggs recorded a 28-38 record during his time with the Angels and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was 27 years old.