Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has waived the right to a preliminary hearing and will instead take a plea agreement in relation to a fatal DUI case stemming from an incident in 2021, ESPN reported on Tuesday (May 2).
Ruggs, 24, will face three to 10 years in Nevada state prison after pleading guilty to one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The former Alabama standout had previously been charged with one count of DUI causing substantial harm regarding his passenger and two counts of reckless driving, both of which were dropped as part of the plea deal.
Ruggs' case will now be moved from Las Vegas justice court to the 8th Judicial District Court, where he is expected to formally plead guilty during a hearing scheduled for May 10.
"This is the first step toward a fair resolution to this matter and we look forward to closure for all the parties involved," said David Z. Chesnoff and Richard A. Schonfeld, attorneys for Ruggs, in a statement released after Tuesday's proceedings.
Officers said Ruggs was driving drunk at speeds reaching 156 MPH, before his car slammed into the rear of a Toyota RAV4 driven by Tina Tinto on a Las Vegas street where the speed limit is 45 MPH in November 2021, which resulted in the deaths of Tinto and her dog.
The wide receiver was released by the Raiders hours after the crash and placed on strict house arrest, which included having an ankle-wrapped GPS on one leg and an alcohol monitoring device on the other, after posting $150,000 bail last month, previously ESPN reported.
Ruggs and his girlfriend, Kiara Je'nai Kilgo-Washington, who was traveling in the vehicle at the time of the crash, were both hospitalized with injuries, but declined to specify the severity, according to ESPN. Ruggs appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court in a wheelchair at 9:00 a.m. on November 3 and had his bail set at $150,000, although the state initially requested a $1 million bond.
Prosecutors said Ruggs' blood-alcohol level was at 0.16, twice the legal limit of 0.8 in the state of Nevada.
Ruggs, a former College Football Playoff National Champion at the University of Alabama, was selected by the Raiders at No. 12 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The 24-year-old recorded 50 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns, as well as 65 yards on 12 rushing attempts during his first two NFL seasons.