Ex-Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs sentenced to 3-10 years in fatal DUI crash
Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was sentenced to three to 10 years in Nevada state prison after he pleaded guilty in the fatal DUI crash that killed 23-year-old Tina Tintor.
The 24-year-old appeared in Clark County District Court on Wednesday for the sentencing hearing, which was live-streamed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He could be eligible for parole in three years.
The collision occurred on a Las Vegas street early on Nov. 2, 2021. Ruggs was leaving Topgolf near The Strip, where he had been with three other people, including his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington.
Police said that Ruggs was drunk driving his Corvette 156 mph before he crashed into Tintor’s Toyota RAV4. The impact ruptured the gas tank, killing Tintor and her golden retriever, Max. Tintor was 23.
Ruggs’ blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.16 at a hospital, twice the legal limit in Nevada. He initially faced up to 50 years for charges of DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, two counts of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm and possession of a firearm while under the influence.
He accepted a plea deal for the sentence in May and had been under house arrest with alcohol and location electronic monitoring since.
The deal offered a substantial decrease in prison time due to issues in the case surrounding the search warrant police used to draw Ruggs’ blood at the hospital following the crash. The Clark County district attorney’s office said in a statement released in May that prosecutors believed there was a chance the felony DUI charges against Ruggs would be dismissed because the blood draw results could be suppressed if there was no plea deal.
Wednesday marked the first time anyone in Tintor’s immediate family spoke publicly about the crash. Ruggs was also previously limited to just a few words in court.
On Wednesday, he apologized to Tintor’s family.
“To the parents and family of Ms. Tintor, I sincerely apologize for the pain and suffering,” Ruggs said. “My actions are not a true reflection of me.”
David Chesnoff, his attorney, said Ruggs is “truly remorseful” for his actions. “What Henry fully accepts is that his decision caused Ms. Tintor’s death,” Chesnoff added.
Tintor’s cousin, Daniel Strbac, read a statement from her mother, Mirjana Komazec, before District Judge Jennifer Schwartz issued the sentence. Tintor “only saw the beauty and the life in every soul,” according to the statement.
“Every parent’s worst nightmare is to create a beautiful child just to have her taken away at the hands of another’s negligence,” Tintor’s mother wrote.
The judge called the crash “one of the more tragic cases I’ve seen,” citing Ruggs’ “hard work” as a student and athlete after a difficult upbringing.
The Raiders selected Ruggs in 2020 as a first-round draft pick out of Alabama. He was seven games into his second NFL season before the fatal crash, after which he was released by the Raiders. He played 13 games as a rookie.