South Dakota A.G. Kills Man, Gets Slap On the Wrist

A.G. Ravnsborg on his cell phone during interview for accidentally killing a man with his vehicle
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg

AG Jason Ravnsborg Kills Man Walking on Side of Road

(SD) – South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been on the hotseat since September 12. On that day, Ravnsborg had been heading home when he plowed straight into 55-year old Joseph Boever, killing him instantly. Governor Noem made a rare decision and released the investigative interview into the accident. (See below). Ravnsborg, who has been called out before for being on his cell phone while driving, insisted he was not on his cell phone. If you’ll notice the picture, one of the first things Ravnsborg does is take out his cell phone to check it. He then leaves it out on the table the whole time he is being interviewed for killing a man. This is a man who sure appears to be addicted to his cell phone.

The investigators point out that a check of his cell phone records show that he was on his phone and may have been reading a story from a conspiracy theory website. Not only may he have been reading that story, but he accessed the story from another website, which implies he was on the phone reading for a while.

The investigators do a good job of showing that he may have stopped reading once he hit Boever. They point out that there are only about two minutes between the time the phone goes off and when he calls 911. During that time, they say, is when he would have gotten out of his vehicle, examined it to see what happened, then walked down the road (which he did do) and then call 911. Ravnsborg insists he was not on his cell phone and says that he remembers setting it down, reaching to turn off the radio, checking his speedometer and then setting his cruise control.

Inconsistencies in Ravnsborg’s Story

I agree with the investigators that Ravnsborg was reading an article on his cell phone. But let’s say things happened the way he says they did. The man was traveling between 60 and 70 mph. He never says he looked up while he put the phone down, turned off the radio, checked his speed and set the cruise control. At that high rate of speed, how far did he travel without looking? Ravnsborg says he doesn’t know what he hit, but Mr. Boever’s face literally went through the windshield. His glasses ended up on the front seat of Ravnsborg’s vehicle. Ravnsborg says whatever he hit was in the roadway, but the investigation shows that Mr. Boever was on the side of the road and that Ravnsborg went off the road, striking Boever.

Ravnsborg says he must have had tunnel vision when the hit occurred and was only focusing on saving his life because he did not know what he hit. When something strikes an area next to you, you may cringe away, but it is natural instinct to look. Yet Ravnsborg says he didn’t see the person whose face was lodged in his windshield, and whose body lay on the hood of the vehicle. Mr. Boever’s body did fall off and rolled about two feet down the slight embankment. Ravnsborg says he got out of his vehicle and using his cell phone’s flashlight and looked for whatever he had hit, but didn’t find anything. Investigators said that Mr. Boever had a flashlight, that was still on the next day, when the body was found. They tested, using the exact same flashlight, and were easily able to see the glow on the side of the road in the dark.

Ravnsborg’s 911 Call

When Ravnsborg calls 911 (audio below) he says he doesn’t know what he hit. The dispatcher is the one to suggest a deer. After that, Ravnsborg insists to everyone that he figured it was a deer. But what I find interesting is right when he goes to give his license plate number it sounds like he starts sobbing softly. If he is sobbing, why would he be? Sure, it’s sad to kill a deer, but would he really have cried over it? If not, then maybe he’s crying because he knew he killed a person and is scared?

Ravnsborg “Finds” Boever’s Body

Mr. Boever’s body was not found the night of the accident, but the next day Ravnsborg has his assistant take him to get another car then Mr. Ravnsborg says he wants to go back to the crash site to see if he can find what he hit so they both head over to the location. Really? How many people who have hit a deer go looking for it the next day? When they get to the area, Ravnsborg sends his assistant off in one direction while he just happens to go in the direction where the body is. Ravnsborg finds Mr. Boever’s body and calls the sheriff.

Ticket Level Charges Filed

Regardless of all the inconsistencies, lack of logic and flat out lies, it was determined that they did not have enough to charge Jason Ravnsborg with a felony. According to NBC News, “They charged him with careless driving, driving out of his lane and operating a motor vehicle while on his phone.” Those charges carry “up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine on each charge, if convicted.” I’m not sure about South Dakota law, but that level of penalty is basically a ticket here and I suspect it’s the same in South Dakota. He got three traffic tickets for carelessly killing a man.

South Dakota Congress Moves to Impeach

Governor Noem called for A.G. Ravnsborg to step down, but he refused. The South Dakota congress has initiated impeachment proceedings to remove him from office. Ravnsborg does need to be removed from office, but it’s sad that this is the only justice Joseph Boever is going to get, if they are successful. I hope the family files a civil suit against Jason Ravnsborg.

911 Call and Police Interview Video

Below are the 911 call and the interview video. It’s extremely rare to get the interview video of a suspect, especially such a high level one. The video is over two hours, but for those interested in how police work a suspect, it’s an excellent example. They basically tie him into knots.

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