top of page


Former Raiders Receiver Henry Ruggs III Sentenced to Prison for Fatal DUI Crash

This emotional courtroom scene unfolded months after Ruggs was let go by the Raiders the day after the fatal crash, marking a tragic end to his tenure with the team.

LAS VEGAS — In a somber courtroom scene that reflected the gravity of the situation, former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was handed a sentence of three to 10 years in prison on Wednesday, stemming from his involvement in a fateful drunken driving crash in November 2021. The incident claimed the life of a young Las Vegas woman, Tina Tintor, and her beloved canine companion.

Ruggs, 24, may be eligible for parole after serving three years of his sentence. The verdict was delivered by a Clark County District Court judge, who described the case as one of the most tragic she had encountered in her legal career.

Since his guilty plea in May, Ruggs had been under house arrest, subject to alcohol and location monitoring devices. His admission of guilt included one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. In a poignant moment during the court proceedings, Ruggs directed an apology to Tintor's grieving family, stating, "To the parents and family of Ms. Tintor, I sincerely apologize for the pain and suffering."

This emotional courtroom scene unfolded months after Ruggs was let go by the Raiders the day after the fatal crash, marking a tragic end to his tenure with the team.

The sentencing hearing also provided an opportunity for Tintor's family to share their perspective publicly for the first time. A central figure in her family, Tintor had emigrated to the United States from war-torn Serbia as a toddler. Her life story was one of resilience and determination, as she helped her father navigate language barriers, cared for her nephew, and played a vital role in her family's daily life. Tragically, the day she lost her life, she was supposed to be picking up her father from work.

Throughout the legal proceedings, Tintor's family has been a steadfast presence, advocating for justice on behalf of their lost loved one. Notably, Pedja Komazec, Tintor's uncle, emerged as a strong voice in pushing for stricter DUI laws in the state of Nevada.

Ruggs' legal team, headed by attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, submitted an extensive collection of supporting evidence prior to the sentencing hearing. This included a doctor's analysis of Ruggs' life and health, background information, and numerous testimonial letters. These letters of support hailed from figures ranging from Ruggs' high school teachers at Dr. Percy L. Julian High School (formerly Robert E. Lee High School) in Montgomery, Alabama, to Mike Locksley, his college coach at Alabama, who has since risen to the position of head coach at Maryland.

The sobering details of the crash were recounted during the proceedings. On November 2, 2021, Ruggs was driving under the influence, reaching staggering speeds of 156 mph shortly before colliding with Tintor's Toyota RAV4, which was traveling at just over 43 mph. The impact was devastating, propelling Tintor's vehicle an astonishing 571 feet. Blood tests conducted approximately two hours after the incident revealed Ruggs' blood alcohol level to be a staggering 0.161, well over double the legal limit in Nevada.

In the lead-up to the crash, Ruggs had been at a Topgolf establishment near The Strip, accompanied by three others, including his girlfriend Kiara Je'nai Kilgo-Washington. An itemized receipt from Topgolf provided a glimpse into their evening, indicating a significant consumption of food, drinks, and gameplay. The receipt cited charges for a total of 20 drinks, most of which contained tequila.

Though Ruggs had largely remained silent throughout the legal proceedings, a phone call transcript from the day following the crash revealed him admitting his inebriation to an unidentified individual. Ruggs had been granted limited release from home confinement for workouts and medical treatment, during which time he received in-patient trauma treatment for PTSD.

Tina Tintor, only 23 years old, lost her life along with her cherished dog, Max, due to thermal injuries caused by the collision. Kilgo-Washington, who was in the vehicle with Ruggs at the time, sustained injuries, including a broken arm.

Ruggs, the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the Raiders' first selection after their move to Las Vegas, had played in 20 games for the franchise. As the legal proceedings come to a close, the tragic consequences of that fateful night continue to cast a long shadow over his once-promising football career.

Austyn McFadden

Use this area to feature popular blog posts or recent news items.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Instagram

Empowering the next generation

of sports storytellers

© 2023 by First in Flight Creative

bottom of page