PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been charged with operating a vehicle while using a mobile electronic device, illegal lane change, and careless driving in the death of 55-year-old Highmore resident Joe Boever, who was struck and killed while walking on the shoulder of Highway 14 west of Highmore last September. Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell announced the charges in a news conference at around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
All three charges are misdemeanor offences. Sovell was joined for the announcement by Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore, who was part of a team of prosecutors who worked on the case.
Published at 11:43 a.m.
On the night of September 12, 2020, around 10:30 p.m., 55-year-old Joe Boever of Highmore was struck and killed while walking on the side of the road.
The next day, Governor Kristi Noem called a news conference to announce that South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg had been involved in a fatal crash.
As details emerged, it was announced the Attorney General told 911 that he believed he had hit a deer while driving back from a bar in Redfield, where he had been attending a Spink County GOP event.
Boever’s body was discovered the next morning when he and his chief of staff drove back to return Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek’s personal car, which the Sheriff had lent Ravnsborg following the crash.
Gov. Noem announced the South Dakota Highway Patrol would be leading the investigation. Soon after, it was stated that the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation would also be assisting, as well as officials from Minnesota and a specialist from Wyoming.
The state declared that the Attorney General was distracted before the incident, and Ravnsborg told reporters, ““I believe I have not committed any crime.”
As the investigation progressed, it was announced that all reports were in the hands of prosecutors, and that Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell would be the one to determine whether charges were filed.
Now, more than five months after the death took place, Sovell is expected to announce her decision Thursday afternoon.
We will update this story as the situation continues to develop.