Today was the first hearing in the Henry Ruggs case — for which he did not appear, but his lawyers (obviously) did — and there was one main development: there will not be a plea agreement. At least not yet.
Prosecutors in his case have filed five felonies, as a result of his accident that left one woman dead.
Prosecutors now have decided to charge Ruggs with additional felony counts of DUI and reckless driving due to the injuries suffered by his passenger, girlfriend Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, who also goes by Rudy Washington. The misdemeanor charge is possession of a firearm while under the influence, stemming from a loaded gun found in Ruggs’ car at the scene.
To the tape:
Initially reported by ESPN, Ruggs originally faced being charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death and reckless driving after prosecutors said he was driving 156 mph and had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit in the state of Nevada.
Ruggs was driving 156mph just before the wreck, breaking down to 127mph right before impact. He was also tested at a .161 BAC, more than twice the legal limit in Nevada, according to TMZ reports.
The potential to spend a large duration in jail would be in stark contrast to past NFL DUI incidents that resulted in the loss of life.
Ruggs’ accident marks the fourth active NFL player in the last 25 years to be involved in a drunk-driving incident that resulted in death. The Las Vegas police tweeted that “Ruggs will be charged with DUI resulting in death, and according to USA Today, conviction on these charges could result in a sentence of two to 20 years in prison, under Nevada Law, which identifies the charge as a Class B felony.
All three previous players not only got lighter sentences than the average citizen would, all three returned to the NFL.
The main message from David Chesnoff, who is Ruggs’ lawyer in the case, was that he hopes people do not “pre-judge” his client before his day in court.