LAS VEGAS (CN) — Former Raiders player Henry Ruggs III pleaded guilty in Clark County District Court on Wednesday in a drunk driving crash that killed a woman and her dog near the Las Vegas Strip.
Ruggs, 24, was with his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, 24, and was drinking alcohol while hitting golf balls at Top Golf near the Strip on Nov. 2, 2021, according to a police report.
Investigators say Ruggs drove 156 mph in his Chevrolet Corvette at 3:30 a.m. on Rainbow Boulevard, west of the Las Vegas Strip, before slowing down to 127 mph when he crashed into Tina Tintor’s vehicle. Law enforcement acquired the information from the Corvette’s computer.
Tintor’s Toyota RAV4 exploded into a fireball, according to police reports. Bystanders attempted to get Tintor, 22, out of the car before the fire but were unsuccessful.
According to a police report, Ruggs refused an alcohol sobriety test at the scene. He was taken to University Medical Center for a mandatory blood draw, and registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.16, twice the legal limit.
Ruggs, appearing somber in a dark suit with a white shirt and tie, was peppered with questions by Judge Jennifer Schwartz about whether he understood the charges as part of his plea bargain, which include one count of felony driving under the influence resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.
Schwartz began the proceeding by asking Ruggs to state his full name. After Ruggs responded, Schwartz said, “I’m going to need you to speak up, OK. I just need you to speak up because we are recording everything.”
The judge asked whether he had read the plea agreement, to which Ruggs replied “Yes, your honor."
Schwartz explained that the felony count is “not a probational offense, meaning there’s no way you can be sentenced to anything other than prison time.” Ruggs faces three to 10 years in the Nevada Department of Corrections when he is sentenced Aug. 9.
The first-round draft pick from the University of Alabama posted a $150,000 bond after the crash and has been on house arrest with an ankle monitor 24 hours a day. Ruggs will remain on house arrest pending his sentencing, with the same high-level monitoring stipulation.
Ruggs injured his leg during the crash and used a wheelchair and wore a neck brace during his initial court appearance in 2021. Kilgo-Washington suffered a severe arm injury that required surgery. They have a three-year-old child together.
Ruggs, a wide receiver, signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Raiders after being the 12th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and received a $9.6 million signing bonus. From Montgomery, Alabama, Ruggs played on the Crimson Tide’s 2018 national championship team.
The Raiders released Ruggs days after the fatal crash.
Ruggs was represented by Las Vegas high-profile attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, who declined to comment after Wednesday's proceedings.
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