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Ravnsborg charged with three misdemeanors for September crash

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:57 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 11:05 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - On the night of September 12 on Highway 14, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed Joe Boever, 55, of Highmore.

The Attorney General stated he does not believe he committed a crime.

More than five months after the crash, official charges were filed against Ravnsborg. They include careless driving, operating a vehicle while using a mobile device, and a driving lane violation.

All three are misdemeanors and none pertain specifically to the death of Boever.

“For Vehicular homicide in South Dakota, it requires that one be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or substances in a manner and a degree prohibited by law wit out design to affect death but ultimately after negligent actions results in the death of a human being,” said Emily Sovell, Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney.

While Ravnsborg is being charged with using a mobile device while driving, prosecutors say the phone use was not a factor in the crash.

“All evidence indicates to us that the Attorney General was not on the phone at the time of the accident,” said Sovell.

As for why Ravnsborg was driving out of his lane, prosecutors say they don’t know.

They say that at best, the Attorney General’s actions were negligent, which isn’t enough to bring manslaughter charges in South Dakota.

“When we don’t have a negligent homicide law in this state, we’re faced with recklessness. and recklessness, as I’ve read to you, is an extremely high burden to establish. in this case, we don’t have it. I know it’s not, I don’t feel good about it, but it’s the right decision,” said Michael Moore, Beadle County States Attorney

Despite the prosecutors’ findings, Boever’s family believes there is more to the story of what happened that night.

“I am convinced Jason Ravnsborg, saw Joe Boever before he it him,” said Nick Nemec, Joe Boevers cousin.

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