OJ Simpson Compares Henry Ruggs' Sentencing To His Own

By Jason Hall

August 10, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson shared a video in which he implied his prison sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery was harsher than the one given to former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III this week.

Simpson, 76, who served the minimum nine years of a 33-year sentence before being granted early release from his parole in 2017, was convicted in Las Vegas in 2008, the same city where Ruggs, 24, was sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison in relation to a fatal DUI crash that killed a woman and her dog in November 2021.

“I know I went to college on a football scholarship but somehow this math is not adding up to me,” Simpson said of the disparity between the sentences. “You’re driving a car at roughly 160 MPH on a public street and end up killing a girl and her dog and you get three to ten years?”

Simpson, who was famously acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman, in 1995, but found liable in a civil suit from the victims' families three years later, then compared the severity of Ruggs' crime to the one he was convicted of in 2008.

“You go to a hotel room that you’re invited to retrieve your own personal stolen property, property I now have because it was ruled to be mine by the state of California, and you get nine to 33 years?” Simpson asked.

Ruggs pleaded guilty in relation to the crash on May 10, ESPN reported at the time. The former Alabama standout was sentenced on one count of DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter on August 9 and will remain under house arrest with alcohol and location electronic monitoring devices until that date.

Ruggs had previously been charged with one count of DUI causing substantial harm regarding his passenger and two counts of reckless driving, both of which were dropped as part of the plea deal he accepted earlier this month. Officers said Ruggs was driving drunk at speeds reaching 156 MPH before his car slammed into the rear of the Toyota RAV4 on a Las Vegas street where the speed limit is 45 MPH, killing Tina Tintor, 23, and her dog, Max.

The wide receiver was released by the Raiders hours after the crash and placed on strict house arrest, which included having an ankle-wrapped GPS on one leg and an alcohol monitoring device on the other, after posting $150,000 bail last month, previously ESPN reported. Ruggs and his girlfriend, Kiara Je'nai Kilgo-Washington, who was traveling in the vehicle at the time of the crash, were both hospitalized with injuries, but declined to specify the severity, according to ESPN.

Ruggs appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court in a wheelchair at 9:00 a.m. on November 3 and had his bail set at $150,000, although the state initially requested a $1 million bond. Prosecutors said Ruggs' blood-alcohol level was at 0.16, twice the legal limit of 0.8 in the state of Nevada.

Ruggs, a former College Football Playoff National Champion at the University of Alabama, was selected by the Raiders at No. 12 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. The 24-year-old recorded 50 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns, as well as 65 yards on 12 rushing attempts during his first two NFL seasons.

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