Ex-Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III accepts plea deal in fatal DUI case, faces 3-10 years in prison
Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III formally pleaded guilty in the fatal DUI crash that killed 23-year-old Tina Tintor. He faces three to 10 years in a Nevada state prison.
The 24-year-old appeared in Clark County District Court on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty to one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.
His official sentencing is set for Aug. 9. Until then, he will remain under house arrest under the supervision of electronic devices that will detect alcohol and monitor his location, according to ESPN.
The plea deal offers Ruggs a substantial decrease in prison time, as he initially faced up to 50 years.
Police said that Ruggs was drunk driving his Corvette 156 mph on a Las Vegas street early on Nov. 2, 2021, before he crashed into Tintor's Toyota RAV4. The impact ruptured the gas tank, killing Tintor and her golden retriever, Max. Ruggs' blood was drawn at a hospital after an approved warrant. His blood-alcohol content was 0.16, twice the legal limit in Nevada.
The plea agreement for less time came as a result of concern about the results of the blood test, according to a statement released after the court proceeding by Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
"I recognize this outcome is not sufficient to punish Ruggs for the loss the Tintor family has suffered," Wolfson wrote, "but there was a legitimate concern that a court would have suppressed the result of the blood draw. We would have lost the felony DUI charge. We couldn't take that chance. This resolution sends Ruggs to prison for up to 10 years on a felony DUI conviction and brings closure to the Tintor family."
As a result of the deal, Ruggs doesn't have the ability to appeal his conviction of the strictest charge allowed for drunk driving in Nevada.
Police said that they found a loaded gun in his vehicle after the crash. Before attorneys and prosecutors reached a plea agreement on May 2, Ruggs initially faced additional charges of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, two counts of reckless driving and a misdemeanor firearms charge.
Tintor's mother, brother and other family members of the Tintor family were reportedly in the courtroom Wednesday.
“Today, like every day, we remember Tina and Max, and how they were taken from us that fateful night. No sentence will ever bring Tina and Max back, but we hope that everyone learns from this preventable incident so that no other families suffer like we do," Attorney Farhan R. Naqvi said in a statement from the Tintor family.
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.