Vegas News

Henry Ruggs ordered to appear in court over missed alcohol test

A Las Vegas judge ordered Henry Ruggs to appear in court again soon after she said the former Raiders’ wide receiver missed an alcohol test.

Justice of the Peace Suszan Baucum made the statement as Ruggs’ lawyers appeared in court seeking all Clark County Fire Department communications related to a deadly Nov. 2 crash.

Baucum did not issue a subpoena for the fire department records. She said the defense can issue its own subpoena. Prosecutors indicated the department will release the public records to the defense.

Defense lawyers for the former Raiders wide receiver filed court papers last week saying they have a witness who alleges that firefighters failed to quickly put out the fire in Tina Tintor’s RAV4.

The witness indicated that firefighters “did not attempt to extinguish the fire at Ms. Tintor’s vehicle for approximately 20 minutes, at which time the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames,” the lawyers wrote.

Tintor’s Toyota burst into flames after Ruggs, who prosecutors said was driving 156 mph seconds before the crash, slammed into the back of her car in a residential area near Rainbow Boulevard and Spring Valley Parkway. The 23-year-old Las Vegas woman died at the scene.

Ruggs’ blood alcohol level measured 0.16 percent after the crash, prosecutors have said. That is twice the legal limit for Nevada drivers.

The 22-year-old has been charged with felony counts of DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, and two counts of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm in connection with Tintor’s death and injuries his longtime girlfriend, Rudy Washington, suffered in the crash.

Ruggs also has been charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of a firearm while under the influence, court records show. Authorities have said a loaded weapon was found in his Chevrolet Corvette Stingray after the crash.

He faces up to 40 years behind bars if convicted of the DUI counts.

Rugg’s lawyers — David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld — are seeking permission from the court to subpoena all Fire Department communications regarding the crash, including text messages, video footage, photographs, log reports and recordings of dispatch calls.

The witness, who was not identified in the motion, told attorneys he was home nearby when he heard the collision and went outside to the crash scene.

Firefighters were at the scene when the witness arrived, and the fire in Tintor’s vehicle was “limited to one exterior area,” according to the defense papers.

Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa has defended the firefighters’ actions at the scene.

“There were no delays in response or in the attack on the fire,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week. “The captain on the scene reported that the vehicle was fully involved in fire upon arrival and the passenger compartment was not survivable for anyone inside.”

Pappa said there was a “continuous rekindle” in one area of the car, which continuously reignited. Pappa said that was “not unusual in vehicle fires.”

Defense attorneys this week also filed court documents arguing that turning over Ruggs’ medical records and allowing health care professionals to testify about Ruggs’ treatment following the crash violates doctor-patient privilege.

A hearing regarding the medical records is scheduled for Dec. 8.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at [email protected] or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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