Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Prosecutor: Rugs drove 156 mph before fatal crash in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former Raiders wide receiver Henry Rugs III was driving at 156 mph with a blood-alcohol content twice Nevada’s legal limit before his sports car crashed into the back of a vehicle. collided with, causing the death of a 23-year-old woman. , prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The Raiders booked into a Las Vegas prison late Tuesday, hours after the accident and shortly after being released from the hospital.

The 22-year-old former first-round NFL draft pick sat in a wheelchair with a foam brace on his neck and prison guards as he elbowed him during a preliminary court hearing Wednesday pending felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. death and reckless driving.

The extent of his injuries was not disclosed, although Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said out of court that he believed Rugs suffered a foot injury.

Rugs’ girlfriend, whom police identified as 22-year-old Kiara Zenai Kilgo-Washington of Las Vegas, was with him in the car and was injured in the accident. He underwent surgery on Tuesday due to a serious hand injury, officials said.

Police and the Clark County coroner said Las Vegas’s Tina O. Tintor died in a wrecked and burnt Toyota Rav4 along with her dog. Records show that she lived in several blocks from where the accident took place.

Four people, who Wolfson later identified as family members, attended the hearing but declined to speak to reporters.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure said he was troubled by his initial review of the case against Rugs, adding that in the 16 years on the bench he had never heard of an accident with such a fast-traveling vehicle. had heard.

Still, he rejected prosecutor Eric Bauman’s request, setting Raggs’ bail at $1 million and instead subjecting him to stricter conditions including home confinement, electronic surveillance, no alcohol, no driving, and surrender of his passport. The accompanying amount was set at $150,000.

Raggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schoenfeld, argued that bail is meant by law to bring their client back to court, not to punish him.

Bonaventure, which returned former football star OJ Simpson to prison in January 2008 for violating the terms of his pre-trial release in a Las Vegas armed robbery case that eventually sent him to prison, warned Raggs that he would If bail restrictions were not followed, he had to face re-arrest and return to prison.

Chesnoff later said that Rugs should be able to post $150,000 bail.

Wolfson said out of court that he intends to file a second serious DUI charge against Rugs related to the Kilgo-Washington injuries. Bonaventure notes that the couple has a 3-year-old daughter together.

The district attorney said he may also file a weapons charge against Rugs related to possessing a gun under the influence of alcohol. Police reported finding a loaded gun on the floor of the car after the accident.

Bauman told the judge that air bag computer records showed the Corvette decelerated from 156 mph (251 kph) to 127 mph (204 kph) before it hit Toyota at about 3 on Tuesday. Slipped at :40 pm, broke Toyota’s fuel tank and ignited a ball of fire.

Bauman said Rugs was uncooperative with police and medical personnel, and that his blood-alcohol level was 0.16% within the required two hours after the accident. Police previously said in a statement that Rugs “showed signs of impairment.”

The prosecutor told the judge that since 2013, the NFL Players Association has contracted with rideshare services to provide free transportation to members “specifically to prevent such tragedies.”

In Nevada, probation is not a substitute for a conviction on a DUI charge that results in death or the DUI causes substantial bodily injury. Both face a possible sentence of two to 20 years in state prison. Added to the potential one to six years for reckless driving, Bauman told Bonaventure that Rags could face up to 46 years in prison if convicted.

Property records show that Rugs owns a $1.1 million home in the neighborhood where the accident occurred.

Wolfson said investigators learned he spent several hours late Monday at Topgolf, a sports entertainment venue in Las Vegas, and may have been at a friend’s house for several hours before the accident.

An eyewitness told police that people got off a Dodge Durango SUV parked behind the Corvette at the crash site. Police and prosecutors did not say who was in the vehicle at the time. Wolfson said the investigation is ongoing.

Rugs is due in court again on November 10.

The Raiders did not wait for the courts to act, issuing a brief statement Tuesday night announcing the release of the Rugs.

The team and league offered condolences to the family of the woman who died earlier in the day, and the NFL promised to gather facts about “this devastating incident.”

Rugs were considered a cornerstone for the Raiders. He was selected 12th overall in the 2020 draft after three years at Alabama, which included helping the Crimson Tide win the NCAA Championship as a freshman in 2017.

He was emerging as a star this season with 24 catches for a team-high 469 yards and two touchdowns. As a rookie in 2020, he took 26 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns.

The Rugs’ crash came three weeks after John Gruden abruptly resigned as Raiders coach in 2018 over an email sent before the team was hired. Gruden stepped down after The New York Times reported that the email contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments.

The AFC West-leading Raiders (5-2) have won two in a row under interim coach Rich Bisakia and are now back on the field this week without their lead receiver. He will meet the New York Giants (2-6) on Sunday.


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