‘It’s a fishing expedition’: Victim’s cousins share thoughts on inquiry into Boever’s mental health

Local News

Sioux Falls, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s attorney Timothy Rensch filed a motion on Friday claiming Joe Boever may have been suicidal and asking that his “psychiatric and/or psychological records” be included in court.

On Monday a judge ruled in favor of the motion. Under the ruling, a judge will look at those documents behind closed doors and decide whether any of that information should be made public. Ravnsborg’s trial is scheduled for August 26 at the Stanley County Courthouse. Ravnsborg was driving the car that struck and killed Joe Boever on September 12, 2020.

According to the motion, Boever’s cousin Barnabas Nemec said “I believe with a very high degree of confidence Joe committed suicide.”

“Barnabas is not a trained medical professional,” Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec said. “Barnabas had last seen Joe Boever probably nine months prior. I don’t think Barnabas is any sort of accurate witness as far as Joe Boever’s state of mind at the time.”

Nick Nemec is Joe Boever’s first cousin and Barnabas Nemec’s brother. Nick does not believe Boever was suicidal, or that he tried to kill himself that night.

“Ravnsborg’s just obfuscating the issue,” Nick Nemec said. “The issue is his driving in the minutes before he hit Joe Boever. Joe Boever’s state of mind, whatever it might have been, is irrelevant to the charges against Mr. Ravnsborg.”

The attorney general faces misdemeanor charges for his driving leading up to the crash. He does not face charges directly in connection with Boever’s death.

“One thing I think we have to keep in mind is that attorney general Ravnsborg is charged with three misdemeanors, none of which have anything to do with the killing of Joe Boever,” Nick Nemec said. “And his fishing expedition, looking for alleged, proof of alleged medical records on, of Joe Boever’s is exactly that, it’s a fishing expedition.”

KELOLAND News also spoke on Monday with Victor Nemec, Nick’s brother and Joe Boever’s cousin. Victor rejects the allegation that Boever was suicidal, quoting Boever as having said “suicide is not an option.”

“He has never spoken about wanting to commit suicide to me personally … in all the years that I’ve known him, when the topic would come up, he would always mention that it would not be something that he would want to do,” Victor Nemec said. “In his own words once, he told me ‘suicide is not an option.'”

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