PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — All reports, including the final autopsy for victim Joseph Boever, have been provided to the local prosecutor to decide whether to file criminal charges against South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a state Department of Public Safety spokesman said Thursday.
Among the information was a toxicology report on Boever. “That was received and sent straight to the prosecutor. I don’t know what it says,” Tony Mangan said. The DPS spokesman told KELOLAND News he’s not aware of any further investigative activity at this time.
Still publicly undisclosed is the direction Boever was walking and whether a light he carried was on.
Ravnsborg was driving to Pierre from a political event in Redfield on September 12 when his Ford Taurus struck something on US 14 about 10:20 p.m. at the west edge of Highmore in Hyde County. He called 911 and, according to the transcript, told the dispatcher he had “no idea” what he hit.
The next day, Ravnsborg returned and found the body of Boever, who had been walking on the westbound shoulder. North Dakota officials were contacted to handle the crash investigation. The body of Boever was sent to the Ramsey County, Minnesota, coroner for the autopsy.
A diagram on page 6 of the official report on the DPS website shows Ravnsborg’s vehicle was completely on the shoulder when he struck Boever. Toxicology tests conducted the next day showed his blood was free of alcohol and drugs.
Ravnsborg recently told reporters, “I believe I have not committed any crime.” The deputy state’s attorney for Hyde County, Emily Sovell of Onida, has been consulting with state’s attorneys from Minnehaha, Beadle and Pennington Counties on whether to criminally charge Ravnsborg.
State attorney general is an elected position in South Dakota. Impeachment by the Legislature is the only method of political removal, with the governor appointing the replacement. Ravnsborg has continued with his official duties and recently served as a presidential elector.
Said Governor Kristi Noem on Thursday, “I share South Dakotans’ frustration about the amount of time this has taken. To have more than 100 days go by without resolution on this is a disservice to the victim’s family.”