But what has happened to Ruggs since he was taken into custody in an 8th Judicial District Courtroom in Las Vegas three months ago?
In May, Ruggs pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled or prohibited substance resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after reaching a plea arrangement with the Clark County (Nevada) District Attorney’s Office.
On Aug. 9, Judge Jennifer Schwartz chose to follow the plea agreement and sentenced Ruggs to from 36 to 120 months in prison for the first count and six months in prison for the second count. The sentences are being served concurrently.
Currently, Ruggs is incarcerated at Stewart Conservation Camp.
About 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas near Indian Springs, High Desert is the Nevada Department of Corrections’ largest institution and serves as the reception center for the prisoners entering the corrections system in southern Nevada. With more than 1.5 million square feet, the prison has a capacity of nearly 4,200 prisoners and, when fully staffed, features 400 security workers.
Near the state capital of Carson City, Stewart Conservation Camp has a capacity of 360 inmates and a staff of 15 Department of Corrections employees.
Most of the inmates at SCC are assigned to 12-man fire crews working with the Nevada Division of Forestry, which has 22 personnel at the prison.
Some SCC inmates work at the Silver State Industries ranch, which grows alfalfa, operates a dairy and raises cattle. Ranch inmates also work training horses for adoption through the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.
The State of Nevada contended Ruggs was at fault in a deadly accident that occurred in Las Vegas at 3:39 a.m. Nov. 2, 2021. That’s when a Corvette driven by Ruggs struck a Toyota RAV4 driven by 23-year-old Las Vegas resident Tina Tintor. Tintor and her dog died in the wreck.
Originally, Ruggs had been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled or prohibited substance resulting in death, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled or prohibited substance resulting in death or substantial bodily harm, two counts of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm and possession of a gun under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson had said Ruggs could have been sentenced to more than 50 years in prison if convicted of all the original charges at a trial. But Wolfson later accepted a plea arrangement because of concerns the central piece of evidence in the case – the blood-test results — might be suppressed.
The Las Vegas police department reported tests on Ruggs at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada within two hours of the accident showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.161 percent. The legal limit in Nevada is 0.08 percent.
According to Nevada Department of Corrections records, Ruggs’ earliest parole eligibility date is Aug. 5, 2026. Ruggs’ maximum incarceration is 120 months, but the Department of Corrections currently calculates his mandatory parole release as July 4, 2027.
Nevada inmates with sentences of at least three years, excluding life sentences, receive mandatory-parole-release consideration unless they have a consecutive Nevada sentence to serve, have been released on parole previously for that sentence, or are considered by the Parole Board to be a danger to public safety.
At Lee High School (now renamed Julian High School) in Montgomery, Ruggs received All-State recognition in 2015 and 2016. As a senior, he earned the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 7A Back of the Year Award.
A freshman on Alabama’s CFP national-championship team for the 2017 season, Ruggs had 98 receptions for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns in three seasons with the Crimson Tide.
After he caught 40 passes for 746 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 for Alabama and ran the fastest 40-yard dash at 4.27 seconds at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Ruggs joined the Raiders as the 12th selection of the 2020 NFL Draft.
At the time of his arrest, Ruggs had 50 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns in 20 games for Las Vegas. The Raiders released Ruggs on the same day the wreck occurred.
Ruggs signed a four-year contract worth $16.672 million when he was drafted. Las Vegas paid him $11.019 million before his release, according to the sports financial website spotrac.com, with most of that as a $9.685 million signing bonus.
Law-enforcement authorities said Ruggs’ Corvette was traveling at 156 mph 2.5 seconds before impact and 127 mph at the time of the collision. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department used data from the car’s airbag control module to find those speeds.
The Clark County Office of the Coroner determined Tintor died from “thermal injuries due to a motor-vehicle collision.” The Coroner’s Office also determined that significant conditions contributing to Tintor’s death “were inhalation of products of combustion, fractures of the nasal bones, right-sided ribs and left forearm, and a left hemothorax.” (A hemothorax is a collection of blood in the space between the chest wall and the lung.)
After his bail was set at $150,000 on Nov. 3, 2021, Ruggs was released into an electronic-monitoring program.
The original date for the preliminary hearing in Ruggs’ case had been Dec. 16, 2021, and it was rescheduled to March 10, May 19 and Sept. 7 in 2022 and Feb. 1 and May 4 in 2023 without ever taking place.
The delays were caused by the wait for a 47-page police report, a defense request for more time to inspect the evidence, a dispute over judges and court assignment and a challenge to the legality of the blood draw that yielded incriminating evidence after Ruggs declined to submit to a field sobriety test.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.