LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Former Las Vegas Raiders player Henry Ruggs entered a guilty plea in a Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday morning for causing a fiery DUI crash that killed a 23-year-old woman and her dog.
Attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, who represent Ruggs released a statement that said “Henry entered his plea today in hopes it will further the process of healing the wounds caused by the accident.”
Ruggs, 24, pleaded guilty to felony DUI resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter. Under the plea deal, a judge will sentence 24-year-old Ruggs to a minimum of three years in prison because the DUI resulting in death charge is not probationable. The maximum sentence is 10 years. The plea deal reduced the initial charges he faced.
The plea deal has come under scrutiny and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson released a statement after the court proceeding.
“This outcome accomplished our three most important goals: (1) convict Henry Ruggs of the strictest charge allowed by Nevada law for drunk driving; (2) send Henry Ruggs to prison; and (3) eliminate his ability to appeal his conviction and prison sentence.”
Tina Tintor and her dog, Max, died after Ruggs crashed into the back of her car on Nov. 2, 2021, causing it to burst into flames and trapping her and her dog inside.
Wolfson said Tintor’s family was involved throughout the entire process. The family released a statement through their attorney Farhan R. Naqvi.
“Today, like every day, we remember Tina and Max, and how they were taken from usAttorney Farhan R. Naqvi represents Tina Tintor’s family
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. We appreciate the efforts of the district attorney’s office to overcome the issues
caused by the initial investigation, and we look forward to putting this behind us so
that we can focus on honoring the memories of Tina and Max.”
In his statement, Wolfson said Ruggs and his girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, were transported to the hospital with injuries, and as a result, Standard Field Sobriety Tests couldn’t be done at the scene. Officers had to get a search warrant to have Ruggs’ blood drawn at the hospital. The blood samples revealed Ruggs was .16, twice the legal limit.
Ruggs’ attorneys filed a motion to have the blood evidence suppressed in May 2022 and a judge denied the request. But since that time, the case has bounced between different judges and had numerous delays.
Wolfson said the most serious charge against Ruggs was in jeopardy of being dropped.
“I recognize this outcome is not sufficient to punish Ruggs for the loss the Tintor family has suffered, 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.”Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson
Ruggs, a first-round NFL draft pick was released by the Raiders after the crash. He will be sentenced at a later date.