NFL career derailed by deadly crash, former Raiders wide receiver heading to prison

Henry Ruggs pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony DUI causing death

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May 10, 2023

LAS VEGAS — Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs, 24, pleaded guilty Wednesday to driving his Chevy Corvette while intoxicated at speeds up to 156 mph on city streets causing a fiery collision that killed a woman and her dog.

“Guilty,” said the former first-round selection taken 12th overall in the 2020 NFL draft. As a result of his plea agreement with prosecutors, Ruggs will avoid trial and is expected to be sentenced Aug. 9 to three to 10 years in state prison, the New York Post reported.

Moreover, the minimum three-year sentence cannot be further reduced by converting the year-and-a-half that he has spent on home confinement to time served, according to terms of the deal.

Henry Ruggs
Henry Ruggs, 24, was a star wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders when the fatal crash occurred in November 2021. (Twitter/YouTube)

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said the case against Ruggs contained legal obstacles that could have presented problems at trial. He did not cite was those issues were, but said he met several times with relatives of the woman who died, and noted the plea agreement with Ruggs “accomplished our three most important goals.”

  1. Ruggs was convicted of felony DUI causing death
  2. He will go to prison
  3. He will be unable to appeal his conviction and sentence

In a lengthy written statement, DA Wolfson said in part, “When someone dies as the result of a drunk driver’s actions, this is the most serious charge the law allows.”

Ruggs declined comment as he left the courthouse on Wednesday, but his attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in written comments, “Henry entered his plea today in hopes that it will further the process of healing the wounds caused by the accident.”

The former NFL standout will remain free until he’s sentenced. His attorney’s said they would provide a “more complete” statement once that occurs.

Law Officer article, Nov. 2, 2021

LAS VEGAS — A rising star wide receiver of the Las Vegas Raiders will reportedly be charged following a DUI traffic fatality, according to reports.

Henry Ruggs III, the second year player out of the University of Alabama, will be charged with a DUI resulting in death after being involved in a fiery car crash in Las Vegas early Tuesday, according to law enforcement, TMZ reported.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released a statement confirming that Ruggs, 22, was driving the Chevrolet Corvette that was involved in a crash, which occurred about 3:40 a.m. near the intersection of South Rainbow Boulevard and South Spring Valley Parkway.

Upon their arrival, responding officers discovered a Toyota Rav4 that was fully engulfed in flames. Once the flames were extinguished by fire personnel, a deceased victim was found inside the vehicle. A preliminary investigation revealed that Ruggs’ Corvette rear-ended the victim’s vehicle, Fox News reported.

Ruggs remained at the scene where officers noticed that he “showed signs of impairment.”

The wide receiver was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for undisclosed “non-life-threatening” injuries.

Ultimately, Ruggs will be charged with a DUI resulting in death, according to police sources.

An attorney representing the former Alabama standout told TMZ Sports, “On behalf of our client Henry Ruggs III we are conducting our own investigation as of this writing and ask everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are gathered.”

The Raiders released a statement confirming the team was “aware ” of the circumstances.

“We are devasted by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family,” the team said, via ESPN and the NFL Network. “We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time.”

According to Ruggs’ profile on the Raiders website, the young standout has 24 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns through the first seven games of the season. He was the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.


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