Henry Ruggs’ Lawyers Want Blood Alcohol Level Evidence from Deathly Crash Thrown Out

by Chris Haney

As the legal case against former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs presses on, his defense team recently moved to have evidence of Ruggs’ blood alcohol level thrown out. The 23-year-old allegedly had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit when involved in a fatal car crash in November.

Prosecutors want to enter the evidence against the former NFL player, who was supposedly speeding at 156 mph at the time of the wreck. The Toyota RAV4 he hit burst into flames killing Tina Tintor and her dog before they could escape. Now, Ruggs’ lawyers are arguing over the legality of police asking for a warrant to obtain his blood after the incident. His attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, submitted a document asking for the removal of the evidence on May 23.

“True probable cause did not exist,” the document reads. “The mere fact of Mr. Ruggs’s involvement in a fatal vehicle collision does not, in itself, give rise to probable cause to believe he was driving under the influence of alcohol.”

Following the November incident, responders rushed Henry Ruggs to the hospital. Police did not perform a field sobriety test at the scene of the wreck. Instead, Ruggs’ lawyers stated in their document that an officer asked his sergeant what to do without an impairment finding. Audio from the officer’s body camera captured that conversation. The unnamed sergeant responds, “driving behavior and death alone is going to get you a warrant all day,” according to ESPN.

Henry Ruggs’ Preliminary Hearing Rescheduled for September

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman rescheduled next week’s preliminary hearing to September 7. The hearing will determine if Henry Ruggs will stand trial for felony driving under the influence and reckless driving charges.

As for the blood alcohol level evidence, Zimmerman set a hearing for July 12 to determine if she will allow it. On Friday, prosecutor Eric Bauman said his team will “contest the motion and we will see what the court decides.”

Ruggs’ legal team has already postponed the preliminary hearing multiple times. Chesnoff and Schonfeld are also fighting to block the release of his medical records. Plus, his lawyers want a court order to obtain fire department records. Court filings reveal that firefighters may have reacted slowly when it came to putting out the fire in Tintor’s car.

For now, the former first-round pick out of Alabama remains on house arrest in Las Vegas. The court ordered Henry Ruggs to have electronic GPS and alcohol monitors as he awaits trial. In addition to the felony charges, authorities also charged him with misdemeanor gun possession. Police reportedly found a loaded handgun in the wreckage of his Chevrolet Corvette.

The wide receiver could receive a sentence of two years in state prison at a minimum. If convicted, he faces more than 50 years in prison in the death of the 23-year-old woman and her dog.

Ruggs became one of the nation’s top wide receivers while at Alabama. The Raiders selected him in the 2021 NFL Draft with the No. 12 overall pick. He signed a four-year rookie deal reportedly worth over $16 million. However, the organization released Ruggs within hours of the fatal car crash in November.