LAS VEGAS, Henry Ruggs III, a former Raiders wide receiver, was given a hard time by a Las Vegas judge. However, he was allowed to remain under house arrest with a continuous alcohol monitor on his ankle and a GPS monitor on his other ankle following the fatal crash that he is accused of causing through drunk driving.
After hearing about Ruggs' delay in providing a remote breath test using a handheld device, Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum said that Ruggs and his attorneys were "comfortable" with a higher monitoring level.
She said, "But if you have any misses or if your system is displaying any alcohol, you should know that this could be problematic for the court going forward."
Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff, attorneys, said that their client submitted the negative test after taking a test "out of an abundance" on Nov. 13. They also met a three hour requirement by meeting the submission deadline.
Chesnoff, standing alongside Ruggs in front of the judge, stated that "Henry still did what was right by testing within the window." He should not be punished for his case, which attracts so much attention.
Ruggs was released on $150,000 bail Nov. 3. His lawyer informed the judge that Ruggs had passed more than 77 breath tests since then.
Ruggs' lawyers also submitted testimony from Ruggs' two witnesses who claimed they were there with Ruggs on Nov. 13 and didn't receive a signal from his monitor.
Chesnoff stated that Ruggs' phone is still in possession of Las Vegas police. He has also provided a new number to SCRAM of Nevada, the monitoring system.
Ruggs was standing before the judge when the signal from Ruggs' hand-held device went off. Ruggs had to take a breath test following his court hearing.
According to police and prosecutors, Ruggs (22 years old) and Kiara Je'nai Kilgo Washington were both injured in the Nov. 2 pre-dawn crash. Ruggs' Chevrolet Corvette crashed into the back of a Toyota Rav4 that caught on fire.
Tina Tintor, 23 years old, died at Toyota.
Chesnoff did not specify Ruggs' injuries but stated to the judge that Ruggs had been released from a leg cast that originally prevented him from using the ankle monitor.
Chesnoff & Schonfeld are fighting to stop prosecutors from accessing Ruggs’ medical records. An attorney for Kilgo-Washington launched a similar effort in her place. This question is being heard at a hearing scheduled for Dec. 8.
Prosecutors claim Ruggs' blood alcohol level was 0.16%, twice the Nevada legal limit for drivers. His vehicle also reached speeds of 156 mph (251 km/h) just before the crash.
Ruggs will be appearing in evidence on Dec. 16 to answer two felony driving under influence charges. Each of these can lead to mandatory imprisonment time of between two and 20 years, as well as felony reckless driving or a misdemeanor weapons charge. Police claim they found a loaded gun in Ruggs' wrecked sportscar.
Within hours of the crash, Ruggs was released by the Raiders.
Ruggs, a native of Alabama, was the Raiders' first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.