Ravnsborg charged with 3 misdemeanors for fatally striking Highmore man with car

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 2:35 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been charged in the September hit-and-run death of Joseph Boever outside of Highmore.

Deputy State’s Attorney for Hyde County Emily Sovell said at a press conference Thursday that the top law-enforcement official in the state will be charged with three misdemeanor offenses. The charges are driving while using a mobile electronic device, driving in the wrong lane of traffic, and careless driving.

Sovell said that a manslaughter or vehicular homicide charge is not applicable because the facts around the case didn’t merit any of those charges.

State officials are saying that Ravnsborg was distracted at the moment of impact, but it’s unknown what caused the distraction. Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore said Ravnsborg was driving 67 mph, or 98 feet per second, at the time he struck Boever.

A diagram of the Sept. 12 fatal crash involving Atty Gen. Ravnsborg, released in a Dept. of...
A diagram of the Sept. 12 fatal crash involving Atty Gen. Ravnsborg, released in a Dept. of Public Safety crash report on Monday.(South Dakota Dept. of Public Safety)

All of the charges are Class 2 misdemeanors and can result in up to 30 days in jail for Ravnsborg on each charge.

Sovell said that there is no evidence that Ravnsborg was under the influence of alcohol or otherwise impaired.

Ravnsborg told KOTA Territory News in December that he believes he had not committed any crime. Prosecutors said they had not spoken to him Thursday about the charges.

Sovell said a special appointed judge would handle the case going forward.

WATCH: Ravnsborg fatal crash decision briefing

Ravnsborg fatal crash decision briefing

The deputy Hyde County State’s Attorney Emily Sovell will announce whether she is filing charges at 12:30 p.m. MST on Thursday.

Posted by KOTA Territory News on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ravnsborg was driving a 2011 Ford Taurus westbound on U.S. Highway 14 a mile west of Highmore when he struck Boever, 55, of Highmore at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, according to a release from the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

The Attorney General called to dispatch the night of the accident, claiming he thought he hit a deer. Boever’s body was found in the ditch Sunday morning.

Joseph Boever (submitted photo)
Joseph Boever (submitted photo)(Submitted photo)

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