Ruggs’ lawyers: Witness says firefighting slow

LAS VEGAS — Lawyers for Henry Ruggs III said in a court filing that a witness said firefighters were slow to extinguish a vehicle fire sparked by a deadly crash that authorities blame on the former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver.

Ruggs, 22, is accused of causing the crash by driving drunk at speeds up to 156 mph with his girlfriend in his Corvette sports car before the pre-dawn crash Nov. 2. The team released him hours after the crash.

A funeral for the woman who died, Tina Tintor, 23, was scheduled Thursday at a Serbian Orthodox church, followed by a private burial at a Las Vegas cemetery.

“Firemen 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,” defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld said in a Wednesday court filing that does not identify their witness.

The attorneys seek a court order to obtain Clark County Fire Department records about the pre-dawn Nov. 2 crash and fire. A Nov. 17 court hearing was scheduled.

A county spokesman, Erik Pappa, said in a statement Thursday there were “no delays in response or in the attack on the fire.”

“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,” the statement said.

Tintor family members did not plan to make public comments about her memorials, said Sarah Thornton, spokeswoman for family attorney Farhan Naqvi.

Tintor emigrated from Serbia when she was a child, graduated from a Las Vegas high school and worked at a Target store. A friend told reporters last week that Tintor had been close to obtaining her U.S. citizenship. Her dog, Max, also died in the crash and fire.

Chesnoff and Schonfeld declined additional comment about their Wednesday request for a subpoena for fire department records. Chesnoff called the effort part of their crash investigation. The witness told the attorneys he was at home nearby when he heard the crash and went to look.

Firefighters were “in a position to extinguish the vehicle fire while it was in its infancy stages and failed to do so,” the court filing said.

Already facing felony DUI resulting in death and reckless driving charges, Ruggs was also hit on Wednesday with additional felony DUI and reckless driving charges and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a firearm while intoxicated. The additional charges would mean additional prison time for Ruggs if convicted.

“The evidence supports a second felony DUI charge,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters Wednesday. “We believe that Mr. Ruggs’ girlfriend [Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington] was substantially injured, and under Nevada law, if one is substantially injured in a DUI collision as a result of the defendant’s actions, we can file a second charge.”

The former first-round NFL draft pick faces at least two years of mandatory prison time if he’s convicted. Wolfson said Ruggs could face more than 50 years behind bars if he’s convicted of all charges.

Ruggs has posted $150,000 bail and is on house arrest with strict conditions including four-times-daily alcohol checks while the case proceeds.

Records show he owns a $1.1 million home not far from where the crash occurred.

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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