Ex-Raider Ruggs to plead guilty in fatal DUI case

Ex-Raider Ruggs to plead guilty in fatal DUI case

Former Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III unconditionally waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday and will plead guilty to one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in a 2021 case in which he’s accused of killing a woman in a car crash.

According to a plea agreement presented Tuesday in Las Vegas justice court, Ruggs will serve three to 10 years in Nevada state prison. The case now moves to the 8th Judicial District Court for a hearing on May 10, when he is expected to formally plead guilty.

Ruggs attended the hearing Tuesday and, when asked whether he understood the proceedings, replied, “Yes, your honor.”

The charges dropped as part of the plea deal were one count of DUI causing substantial harm regarding his passenger and two counts of reckless driving.

“This is the first step toward a fair resolution to this matter and we look forward to closure for all the parties involved,” David Z. Chesnoff and Richard A. Schonfeld, attorneys for Ruggs, said in a statement released after Tuesday’s proceedings.

Eric Bauman, chief deputy district attorney, declined to comment until next week’s plea hearing.

Police say Ruggs, who is 24, was drunk and reached speeds of 156 mph in Las Vegas’ valley west of The Strip in the early-morning hours of Nov. 2, 2021, when his Corvette Stingray hit Tina Tintor’s Toyota RAV4, propelling it 571 feet and setting it on fire. Tintor, 23, and her dog, Max, burned to death, a coroner ruled in December 2021.

According to authorities, Ruggs refused to take a field sobriety test, and a blood draw about two hours after the crash revealed his blood alcohol level was 0.161 — more than twice the legal limit in Nevada. His girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, was in the car and was also injured.

He was released on a $150,000 bond one day after the crash and for the past year and a half has been on house arrest with alcohol and location electronic monitoring devices.

The Raiders quickly released Ruggs, a first-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2020, after the crash.

Last year, Ruggs was granted permission to leave home confinement twice a week to work out three hours a day at a training center in the Las Vegas Valley. Around that same time, the court allowed him to go to California for a month for unspecified medical treatment.

The preliminary hearing was rescheduled six times, the latest delay coming in March over which justice of the peace should handle the hearing.

If convicted, Ruggs had faced a minimum of two years and up to 50 years in prison.


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