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DPS Sec. Price says South Dakota AG Ravnsborg should have been charged with manslaughter

South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The full investigation file into the fatal 2020 crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was handed over to the Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Craig Price, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, handed the investigation files over to Speaker Gosch at the direction of Gov. Noem.

Officials did not release the full investigation file to the public but did release a cover letter authored by Secretary of Public Safety Craig Price which outlines what is included in the file.

In the letter, Secretary Price also states he believes Ravnsborg should have been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Price says the South Dakota Highway Patrol was “ready and willing” to provide testimony regarding the crash and the investigation.

In March, Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives Spencer Gosch said the House would wait until after Ravnsborg’s legal proceedings to begin impeachment discussions.

On Sept. 12, 2020, Ravnsborg was traveling late on a highway near Highmore after attending a political fundraiser. Ravnsborg called 911 and explained to a dispatcher that he had struck something with his car and was unsure what he had hit. Ravnsborg discovered the body of 55-year-old Joseph Boever the next morning when returning to his vehicle. Ravnsborg later told investigators he thought he struck a deer while driving home.

Ravnsborg avoided a trial and took a plea deal last week. Ravnsborg pled no contest to two misdemeanor charges in a plea deal with prosecutors.

Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to charges of making an illegal lane change and using a phone while driving, each carrying a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Ravnsborg was originally charged with three misdemeanors but prosecutors dropped a careless driving charge as part of the deal.

Ravnsborg was fined $500 on both counts and $3,000 for costs to secure the scene of the crash. The request for Ravnsborg to cover the cost of Boever’s funeral was denied.

The widow of the man killed, Joseph Boever, has indicated she plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Ravnsborg.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she is “outraged” at the result of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s plea agreement and called on him to either resign or be impeached by the South Dakota State Legislature.

Three South Dakota law enforcement organizations have called for Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s resignation. The South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, the South Dakota Chiefs of Police Association, and the South Dakota Sheriffs Association issued a joint statement earlier this year requesting Ravnsborg to resign.


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