Posted on: May 2, 2023, 07:02h.
Last updated on: May 2, 2023, 07:02h.
Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has agreed to a deal that will likely send him to prison for anywhere between three and 10 years for his role in a deadly accident, according to news reports.
Ruggs told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Harmony Letizia on Tuesday that he will admit to driving under the influence of alcohol causing death — in connection with the November 2, 2021 fiery crash.
Twice the Legal Limit
The 24-year-old had a blood-alcohol level of 0.161% two hours after the collision, Sports Illustrated reported. That is twice Nevada’s legal limit of .08%. Ruggs refused to take a sobriety test at the crash site.
He will also admit to vehicular manslaughter. The sentences for both counts will be served concurrently.
He was traveling at speeds up to 156 mph and slowed his Corvette to about 127 mph just before the car rear-ended a Toyota Rav 4 near Rainbow Boulevard in Las Vegas.
But other original charges leveled against him will be dropped. They include reckless driving, driving under the influence causing substantial injury, and a gun charge. A loaded firearm was found in the Corvette after the accident.
He could have faced up to 50 years in prison if convicted on all the charges, prosecutors said.
The Toyota was driven by Tina Tintor, 23, and in the vehicle was her dog, Max. Both perished from the fire.
On Tuesday, Letizia scheduled a May 10 hearing for District Judge Jennifer Schwartz to hear Ruggs’s formal guilty plea. The judge can’t lower the sentence given time Ruggs already spent in jail.
Prosecutor Eric Bauman said the office of Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson backs the plea deal. So do the Las Vegas-based defense attorneys.
This is the first step toward a fair resolution to this matter and we look forward to closure for all parties involved,” Ruggs’s legal team of David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“This resolution is conditioned upon the court accepting the stipulations of the parties,” Chesnoff added during Tuesday’s hearing.
“In the event that the court does not accept the stipulations, Mr. Ruggs will be permitted to withdraw his guilty plea, proceed to trial and litigate all issues,” Chesnoff added.
Ruggs’s defense attorneys also waived their client’s right to a preliminary hearing in the case.
Still on House Arrest
Ruggs remains on house arrest up until the time of sentencing. After his release from a local hospital, he posted a $150,000 bond to gain freedom from jail. Prosecutors had asked for bail to be set at $1M.
Ruggs suffered a leg injury in the crash. His girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, who was a passenger in the Corvette, suffered an arm injury.
Before the accident, Ruggs signed a four-year NFL contract reportedly worth more than $16 million. He was a first-round NFL Draft pick.
Before the crash, Ruggs also led the Raiders in receiving yards in 2021. The former Alabama standout had 24 receptions, 469 receiving yards, and two touchdowns through seven games.
He was released by the Raiders after the crash.