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South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been charged with three misdemeanors after killing a man, 55-year-old Joe Beover while returning to Pierre from a Republican event in Redfield.  He has been charged with using a mobile device while driving, a lane violation and careless driving.  He will not face any manslaughter charges for Boever’s death. 

 

Hyde county assistant state’s attorney Emily Sovell made the charging decision and was aided by Beadle county state’s attorney Michael Moore.  Moore explained the thinking of prosecutors for not bringing harsher charges…

 

 

 

 

Ravnsborg released a statement following the decision thanking those who supported him during this time and vowed to continue his work as an elected official.  He also offered his condolences to Boever’s family.  Ravnsborg never took a leave of absence and still has given no indication he plans to resign despite all the unanswered questions which remain about Boever’s death.  Governor Kristi Noem also tweeted following the decision, not calling on Ravnsborg to resign, but instead vowing to try and make public more information from the investigation.

 

The state Democratic Party has called on Ravnsborg to resign.

 

The incident in question happened on September 12th and prosecutors have been silent the entire time, leading to speculation amongst the public as interest continued to grow.  Sovell says it was all in an effort to conduct a full an impartial investigation and vowed no political pressure was involved in not bringing harsher charges…

 

 

 

 

Prosecutors made great efforts to parse what the worlds “negligent” and “reckless” meant under South Dakota law in deciding what charges to bring.  Moore pointed out to be vehicular manslaughter Ravnsborg needed to be under the influence, which he was not, and they said they could not determine if he was reckless in the incident.  Moore says South Dakota law is missing the necessary statutes in this incident to bring a stronger case…

 

 

 

 

Many questions remain from the night in question, including the actions taken by Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek.  Ravnsborg admitted to a 911 dispatcher he was not sure what he hit at the time.  Why a greater search was not conducted is unknown.  Ravnsborg was loaned the personal vehicle of Volek to return to Pierre, would he have done that for any other individual in this situation?  Why was Ravnsborg not given a breathalyzer at the time of the accident or asked to give blood to check BAC? 

 

Jenny Boever, the victim’s widow, has announced plans to file a wrongful death suit against AG Ravnsborg. 

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