South Dakota A.G. Jason Ravnsborg Won’t Serve Time For Killing Pedestrian With His Car
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg won’t be serving time for a car crash last year that resulted in the death of a 55-year-old pedestrian.
His attorney entered no-contest pleas on Thursday to two misdemeanors related to the crash.
On the night of the crash, Ravnsborg told a 911 dispatcher that he “hit something” in the road.
Ravnsborg then told police that he hit a deer but discovered a man’s body upon returning to the scene the next morning.
Joseph Boever, the pedestrian who was killed, reportedly had come through the windshield of Ravnsborg’s car. Additionally, Boever’s broken glasses were found in the attorney general’s car.
Ravnsborg will pay a fine of $500 for the two misdemeanors. His third misdemeanor was dismissed.
Ravnsborg’s attorney Timothy Rensch spoke in court on his behalf. “Just because he’s the attorney general doesn’t mean that accidents can’t happen,” he said. “Just because he’s the attorney general and is involved here does not mean that the fix is in and there’s some great conspiracy not to hold him accountable.”
Boever’s widow, Jennifer Boever, said that Ravnsborg’s “actions are incomprehensible, inexcusable and cannot be forgiven.”
Boever’s sister, Jane, criticized Ravnsborg for failing to even appear in court. “We feel that at no point has the defendant shown any remorse and has instead demonstrated callousness with respect to the life he took and the victim’s family and friends,” she said. “He has demonstrated arrogance towards the law he, as an attorney general, is supposed to uphold.”
Jane added that Ravnsborg’s “cowardly behavior leaves us frustrated and makes moving on even more difficult.”
She continued, saying the family does not believe that “a couple of fines” are “adequate punishment for killing a man.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also entered the discussion, stating on Thursday that she was “not only disappointed in how this process was handled by prosecutors but outraged at the result of today’s plea hearing and sentencing.”
“Ravnsborg has not accepted responsibility for the death of Joseph Boever and did not even appear in court today to face the charges or the Boever family,” Noem said. “If Ravnsborg does not resign, as I believe he should, the Legislature can and should consider the articles of impeachment already brought in the House.”
Rensch, on the other hand, claims the case was merely a misdemeanor traffic infraction case. “That’s what is the mix-up here with the family, they think it’s a homicide case,” he said. “You know, the simple fact of the matter is accidents happen. People die. It should not happen, nobody wants anybody to die.”
Judge John Brown has requested that Ravnsborg do a “significant public service event over a period of five years, once each year on or about the anniversary date of Mr. Boever’s death.”