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Henry Ruggs released from jail after fatal Las Vegas crash

Updated November 3, 2021 - 7:49 pm

Former Raiders star Henry Ruggs was released from jail and has returned to his Las Vegas home, a source told the Review-Journal on Wednesday evening.

Ruggs, 22, posted bond Wednesday shortly after making his initial court appearance in Las Vegas in connection with a fiery crash that killed a woman. He was home by evening and being monitored electronically under conditions set by a judge, the source said.

Earlier in the day, a judge ordered Ruggs held on $150,000 bail and the highest level of electronic monitoring if released. He also was required to surrender his passport and was prohibited from driving and consuming alcohol or drugs.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Eric Bauman said Ruggs, who attended court wearing a neck brace and sitting in a wheelchair, was traveling at 156 mph about two seconds before the pre-dawn crash on Tuesday. Investigators determined the car was at 127 mph when the airbags deployed.

“I cannot recall a speed that high in my career on the bench,” Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure said.

After the hearing, Las Vegas Justice Court records showed that Ruggs had posted “cash bond.”

A Metropolitan Police Department report released Wednesday identified the woman killed in the crash as 23-year-old Tina Tintor.

Prosecutors had requested a $1 million bail, which defense attorney David Chesnoff called an “excessive” amount.

“What we have, your honor, is a young man who has never been in trouble before,” Chesnoff told the judge.

Ruggs signed a four-year, $16.67 million guaranteed contract in 2020, but it was unclear if he would receive the remaining 2½ years of pay. Tuesday night, the Raiders Twitter account posted that Ruggs had been released from the team.

Shortly before noon Wednesday, Metro officers could be seen arriving at Ruggs’ house in the Del Rey Estates community, but they left within 10 minutes.

When someone is under high-level house arrest, Las Vegas police check the person’s residence to make sure the conditions of release can be met, such as checking for weapons when the person is prohibited from owning a gun, Metro spokesman Misael Parra said.

A corrections officer assigned to the case also makes regular visits to check compliance. In addition, the person on house arrest has a 6 p.m. curfew and is only allowed to leave home for limited reasons, Parra said, such as for medical appointments or attorney visits.

‘Tragic and sad day’

Bauman said Ruggs’ blood alcohol level was 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit for drivers in Nevada, and a loaded gun was found on the driver’s side floorboard of the car.

Ruggs was booked Tuesday afternoon at the Clark County Detention Center and is facing charges of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving, according to Metro records.

“This is a very tragic and sad day in this community,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters after Wednesday’s court hearing. “A woman lost her life. Another person perhaps lost his career, perhaps (is) going to prison. This was a very, very ugly day, yesterday morning.”

Wolfson said Ruggs may face an additional felony DUI charge related to injuries suffered by his girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car. Prosecutors also may file a charge of possession of a firearm while intoxicated, Wolfson said.

Prosecutors are expected to file formal charges next week.

DUI resulting in death or serious injury carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, while reckless driving carries a maximum sentence of six years.

Police said Ruggs was driving a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette just before 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in a residential area on Rainbow Boulevard when he veered into the right lane and slammed into the back of Tintor’s Toyota.

The impact pushed the Toyota, which burst into flames, more than 570 feet before it came to rest near the intersection of Spring Valley Parkway, according to Ruggs’ arrest report.

Bauman said Tintor and her dog died “as a result of the fire caused by the crash.” The Clark County coroner’s office has not released an official cause of death.

Ruggs was “argumentative and uncooperative” with police and other first responders, Bauman said. According to Ruggs’ arrest report, he refused to participate in a field sobriety test, and instead, two blood draws were taken at the hospital after investigators obtained a search warrant.

The first blood draw was taken at 5:26 a.m., according to police reports released Wednesday afternoon.

While at the hospital, Ruggs yelled at officers and attempted to tear IVs out of his arm, one report said. When an officer tried speaking with Ruggs, he started yelling “to get him out of here,” an officer wrote in the report.

Ruggs told the officer he did not remember what happened and that he was heading home before the crash.

“From the answers Ruggs did give, I noticed his speech was slurred and mumbled,” the officer wrote.

Ruggs’ girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, who goes by the name Rudy Washington, told the officer the couple had been to Topgolf Las Vegas, where they “had been drinking mai tais,” although she told the officer she did not know how many drinks Ruggs had consumed. They then went to a friend’s house, according to the report.

Washington told the officer that while Ruggs was driving, she heard him yell, “What is this guy doing?” the report said.

“She stated Ruggs began braking, the car began to slide and they hit the car in front of them,” the report said. “She stated the car started spinning before coming to rest after striking the curb.”

Wolfson said he was told Ruggs had suffered leg injuries and that Washington had suffered a “significant” wrist injury.

Washington and Ruggs have a young child together, prosecutors said.

Chesnoff told reporters outside the courtroom that he and co-counsel Richard Schonfeld are conducting their own investigation into the crash.

“We are going to adjudicate in the courtroom,” Chesnoff said. “We are not going to adjudicate it in the street.”

As Chesnoff spoke to reporters, an unidentified man yelled “shameful” and “shameful to protect that guy.”

Chesnoff responded: “It’s America, and people are entitled to lawyers.”

Tintor’s relatives who attended the hearing declined to speak with a reporter.

Bauman told the judge that the crash is “particularly tragic” because the NFL Players Association has offered free rideshare services to members since 2013, “specifically to prevent tragedies such as this.”

In recent years, prosecutors have brought murder charges against people accused in high-profile DUI fatality cases, but the Nevada Supreme Court in September 2020 barred the district attorney’s office from engaging in the practice.

The decision stemmed from a case in which officials said a man caused a fatal crash while driving with marijuana in his system at speeds between 70 and 142 mph in a residential neighborhood.

Wolfson said Wednesday that he respects the Supreme Court decision but that legislators should look to increase the maximum sentence in fatal DUI cases.

He told reporters that people need to treat driving while impaired as a “serious matter” and to “make a good choice” instead.

“There’s rideshare. There’s a designated driver. There’s a taxi. There’s so many alternatives,” Wolfson said.

Ruggs is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 10.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Jeff German, Glenn Puit, Rio Lacanlale and Ricardo Torres-Cortez contributed to this report.

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