Judge orders Henry Ruggs III to return to Las Vegas court after failing blood alcohol test
LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas judge ordered former Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III to appear before her on Monday after learning he missed a mandatory blood alcohol test while under house arrest as a result of a fatal accident he is accused of causing while driving while intoxicated at speeds of up to 156 mph.
Ruggs’ attorneys told Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum that Ruggs had “self-tested” negative shortly after missing one of his calls for a breathalyzer last week.
Ruggs attorney David Chesnoff blamed the delay on problems with the test equipment.
A note later published in the court file shows that Ruggs failed a test at 4:41 p.m. on Saturday and performed “a customer-initiated remote breathalyzer test” at 6:28 p.m.
The alcohol watchdog noted that it “cannot confirm Mr Ruggs’ sobriety at this point,” and said his lawyer had provided an updated phone number for SMS notifications for Ruggs remote breath testing.
Ruggs, 22, was out of court Wednesday for a brief hearing in which Baucum denied his lawyers ‘request for a court order to obtain firefighters’ records of the accident and blaze of the November 2. She said she would reconsider if they couldn’t get these records themselves.
Ruggs could face a return to prison. A judge who set his bail at $ 150,000 warned Ruggs directly that if he did not comply with the release restrictions, he risked re-arrest.
Ruggs is housebound with electronic surveillance and alcohol checks four times a day. He is required to respond to a telephone or text signal by blowing into a device that checks his blood alcohol level. Records show he owns a $ 1.1 million home not far from where the accident happened.
Prosecutors said Ruggs’ blood alcohol level after the crash was 0.16%, double the legal limit for Nevada drivers.
Authorities said Ruggs and his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, were injured when Ruggs’ Chevrolet Corvette slammed into the back of Tina Tintor’s Toyota Rav4, shattering that vehicle’s fuel tank.
His lawyers said in court that a witness told them the firefighters were slow to put out the flames. They did not identify the witness.
Other witnesses told police they heard screams and tried to rescue Tintor, 23, and his dog, but were repelled by heat, flames and smoke.
A Clark County spokesperson said there had been no delay in the firefighters’ response or the fire attack.
Baucum has set a preliminary hearing for Dec. 16 on two counts of impaired driving causing death or serious injury. Each charge carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence and up to 20 years each.
Ruggs is also facing two counts of reckless driving and one count of weapons misdemeanor after police say a loaded handgun was found in his wrecked sports car.
Prosecutors said Ruggs suffered a leg injury and Washington underwent surgery for an arm injury.
Chesnoff and attorney Richard Schonfeld are fighting separately to prevent prosecutors from accessing Ruggs’ medical records, and a Washington attorney has launched a similar effort on his behalf. A hearing on December 8 is scheduled.
The Raiders made Ruggs their first choice in the 2020 NFL Draft in Alabama, where he helped the Crimson Tide win the 2017 NCAA Championship.