Former Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III drove 156 mph at a per mille twice Nevada’s legal limit before his car crashed into the back of a vehicle that burned and killed a 23-year-old woman, according to prosecutors.
Ruggs, 22, remained seated in a wheelchair with a foam bar around his neck and prison guards like his elbows during his first court appearance Wednesday on pending criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, resulting in death and reckless driving.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure said he was concerned about his first review of the case against the Ruggs, adding that in 16 years on the bench he had never heard of a crash involving a vehicle driving so fast.
Nevertheless, he rejected prosecutor Eric Bauman’s request to set Ruggs ‘bail at $ 1 million and instead set the amount at $ 150,000 with strict conditions, including house arrest, electronic surveillance, no alcohol, no driving and handing over Ruggs’ passports. .
Bauman told the judge that airbag computer records showed the Corvette decelerated from 156 mph to 127 mph before hitting the Toyota around 6 p.m. 3:40 a.m. Tuesday, and blew up Toyota’s fuel tank and ignited a fireball.
The Raiders released Ruggs late Tuesday, just hours after the crash and shortly after, he was released from a hospital and enrolled in a Las Vegas prison. The extent of his injuries was not disclosed, though Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said outside court that he believed Ruggs suffered a leg injury.
Ruggs’ girlfriend, identified by police as Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, 22, from Las Vegas, was with him in the car and was injured in the accident. She was operated on Tuesday for a serious arm injury, authorities said.
According to police, Tina O. Tintor was the name of the Las Vegas woman who died with her dog in a wrecked and burned Toyota Rav4. Records show that she lived several streets from where the crash happened.
Four men, whom Wolfson later identified as family members, attended the hearing but declined to speak to reporters.
Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, had argued that bail by law is intended to ensure that their client returns to court, not to punish him. Bonaventure, who in January 2008 returned former football star OJ Simpson to prison for violating the terms of his pre-trial release in an armed robbery case, warned Ruggs that if he did not comply with restrictions, he would face retention and a return. to prison.
Chesnoff later said the Ruggs should be able to post $ 150,000 in bail.
Wolfson said outside court that he intends to file another criminal DUI charge against Ruggs in connection with injuries to Kilgo-Washington. Bonaventure noted that the couple has a 3-year-old daughter together.
The district attorney said he might also file a gun charge against Ruggs in connection with possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol. Ruggs had a loaded gun in the car at the time of the crash.
Bauman said Ruggs did not cooperate with police and doctors and that his blood alcohol level within the required two hours after the crash was 0.161. Police said earlier in a statement that Ruggs “showed signs of weakening.”
“This is particularly tragic,” the prosecutor told the judge. He said the NFL Players Association since 2013 has contracted rideshare services to provide free transportation to members “specifically to prevent tragedies like this.”
Probation is not an option in Nevada for a conviction on a charge of DUI causing death, or DUI causing significant bodily harm. Both have a possible sentence of two to 20 years in prison in the state. Added to a possible up to six years for reckless driving, Bauman told Bonaventure that Ruggs could risk up to 46 years behind bars if convicted.
Property records show Ruggs owns a $ 1.1 million house in a neighborhood not far from where the crash occurred.
Wolfson said investigators found that he spent several hours at TopGolf, a sports entertainment venue in Las Vegas, and may have been at the home of a friend for several hours before the crash.
A witness told police that people got out of a Dodge Durango SUV that was found parked behind the Corvette at the crash site. Police and prosecutors have not said who was in the car at the time. Wolfson said the investigation continued.
Ruggs is due back in court Nov. 10.
The Raiders did not wait for the courts to act, and issued a brief statement Tuesday night announcing Ruggs’ release.
The team and the league earlier in the day condoled the family of the woman who died and promised to gather facts about what the NFL called “this devastating incident.”
With 24 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns, the Ruggs’ 19.5-yard-per-catch average was number two in the NFL among pass-catchers with at least 20 receptions.
The accident also came less than a year after Raiders fugitive Josh Jacobs crashed a sports car into a tunnel wall on a roadway at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Jacobs received several stitches for a cut forehead and was initially charged with driving under the influence, but that charge was dropped a week later because Jacobs’ blood alcohol level did not reach the level of 0.08% needed to pursue the case. Chesnoff and Schonfeld represented Jacobs in the case, which was closed in March after Jacobs was a mentor at a Boys & Girls Club and paid a $ 500 fine for solving a traffic violation for failure to exercise caution.
ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.