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Ex-Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III sentenced 3 to 10 years in fatal DUI

Former Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III was sentenced Wednesday to three to 10 years in prison for a November 2021 drunken driving crash that killed a Las Vegas woman and her dog.

Ruggs could be eligible for parole in three years.

A Clark County District Court judge told Ruggs on Wednesday that it was one of the more tragic cases she has seen.

Ruggs, 24, had been under house arrest with alcohol and location electronic monitoring devices since pleading guilty in May to one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the crash that killed Tina Tintor. On Wednesday, Ruggs read from a statement directed at Tintor’s family in which he apologized for his actions.

“To the parents and family of Ms. Tintor, I sincerely apologize for the pain and suffering,” Ruggs said.

Ruggs had faced three to 10 years in a Nevada state prison since May. The Raiders cut Ruggs the day after the crash.

Wednesday marked the first time Tintor’s brother, or anyone in her immediate family, had spoken publicly about the crash. Tintor came to the United States as a toddler and was the anchor of a family that escaped war-torn Serbia. She helped her father navigate language barriers, babysat her nephew and was supposed to pick up her dad from work the morning she died. The family has been a fixture at Ruggs’ hearings over the past two years. Pedja Komazec, Tintor’s uncle, has been advocating for tougher DUI laws in Nevada.

In court documents filed before the sentencing hearing, Ruggs’ attorneys had asked the judge to keep the duration of their client’s prison time to that range. David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld said that Ruggs “wishes that he could turn back time and change the outcome of the tragic events of November 2, 2021.”

The attorneys submitted a doctor’s analysis of Ruggs’ life and health, information about his background, and a collection of testimonial letters in support of Ruggs. Several of the letters were from teachers and staff at Dr. Percy L. Julian High School (still Robert E. Lee High School when Ruggs was there) in Montgomery, Alabama, where Ruggs became a star. Mike Locksley, who coached Ruggs in college at Alabama, also wrote a letter on Ruggs’ behalf. He is now the head coach at Maryland.

According to police, on Nov. 2, 2021, Ruggs was driving drunk and reached speeds of 156 mph just seconds before crashing his Chevrolet Corvette Stingray into Tintor’s Toyota RAV4, which was traveling just over 43 mph. Tintor’s RAV4 was propelled 571 feet. A blood draw about two hours after the crash revealed that Ruggs’ blood alcohol level was 0.161 — more than twice the legal limit in Nevada.

In the hours before the crash, police said that Ruggs was at Topgolf near The Strip with three other people, including his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington. Police cited an itemized copy of a Topgolf receipt that showed a tab under Kilgo-Washington’s name was billed for food, drinks and gameplay. The group was billed for 20 drinks, most of which contained tequila.

Outside of a few words in court, Ruggs has not spoken publicly about the case. But police did obtain the transcript of a phone call from the day after the crash in which Ruggs, speaking to an unidentified man, admitted to being drunk.

A court ruling last year allowed him to leave home confinement twice a week to work out at a training center in the Las Vegas Valley. Around that same time, the court let him go to California for a then-unspecified medical treatment. Documents filed by Ruggs’ lawyers Aug. 1 said that Ruggs was treated for in-patient trauma from May 2 to May 30, 2022, at Mental Health Collective in Newport Beach, California. The documents said that Ruggs received 24-hour, residential treatment for a diagnosis of PTSD, according to clinical director Kristen Zaleski.

Tintor, 23, and her dog, Max, died from thermal injuries, a coroner ruled in December 2021.

Kilgo-Washington was in the car with Ruggs and also was injured. A police report said she had a broken arm.

Ruggs was the Raiders’ first draft pick after they arrived in Las Vegas. He was taken 12th overall in 2020 and played 20 games for the franchise.

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