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LAS VEGAS – Lawyers for former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs ask a judge to throw evidence that prosecutors say shows he had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit while driving at 156 mph on a city street , before he became involved in a violent crash that killed a woman last November.
In a lawsuit that effectively delayed a preliminary hearing of evidence, Ruggs ‘defense team claims police had no legal reason to ask a judge to approve a ruling to get Ruggs’ blood.
“The true probable cause did not exist,” attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld said in a document filed May 23 with Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman. in itself gives rise to probable cause to believe that he was driving under the influence of alcohol. ”
Ruggs was admitted to the hospital and no sobriety test was performed at the scene of the accident to determine if he was weakened, the document said. It notes that a police officer asked his sergeant what he should do without noticing a disability.
The unnamed sergeant is recorded on body-worn camera sound and responds that “driving behavior and death alone will give you a verdict all day,” the court document states.
Zimmerman pushed back from next week to September. 7 the date of an initial hearing to determine whether Ruggs will be brought before the state court for felony driving under the influence and reckless driving. She scheduled a hearing on July 12 on the evidence issue.
Schonfeld declined to comment prior to the hearing, while prosecutor Eric Bauman said Friday he will “contest the proposal and we will see what the court decides.”
Ruggs, 23, is a former NFL draft pick in the first round. He is still under house arrest in Las Vegas with electronic GPS and alcohol monitors. He risks mandatory two years of state imprisonment and perhaps more than 50 years if convicted.
Ruggs is also charged with misdemeanor possession of a firearm after police reportedly found a loaded gun in his wrecked Chevrolet Corvette.
The wreck before dawn triggered a fire that killed 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog, Max, in Tintor’s Toyota RAV4.
Ruggs and his girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, were hospitalized after the crash. The extent of their injuries has not been made public, though Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said prosecutors were told Ruggs suffered a leg injury and that Kilgo-Washington underwent arm surgery.
A state judge in April rejected Kilgo-Washington’s attempt to block prosecutors from getting her medical records. Her lawyer had argued that Kilgo-Washington was not charged with a crime, and her health information was protected by federal and state medical-patient laws on confidentiality. Ruggs and Kilgo-Washington have a daughter together.
Meanwhile, Ruggs’ initial hearing has been postponed several times, while Chesnoff and Schonfeld have struggled to block the release of his medical records and to obtain a court order to obtain fire records, which according to court documents could show the firefighters were slow to put out the fire in Tintor’s car.
Ruggs had emerged as a star receiver last year for the Raiders, with a four-year rookie contract reported to be worth more than $ 16 million. He was released by the team a few hours after the crash.