South Dakota Attorney General Expected To Reach Plea Deal

Jason R. Ravnsborg, the South Dakota attorney general who punched and killed a man on his way home from a Republican Party dinner last y...


Jason R. Ravnsborg, the South Dakota attorney general who punched and killed a man on his way home from a Republican Party dinner last year, will indisputably plead two counts of misdemeanor on Thursday to which he faces in connection with the case, his lawyer said on Wednesday. .

The arrangement will allow Mr Ravnsborg to avoid a trial that had been scheduled for Thursday, and the third charge against him will be dropped, lawyer Tim Rensch said.

Beadle County State Attorney Michael Moore confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Ravnsborg would enter a plea, but said he could not give more details due to a gag order imposed by a judge in February.

Mr Ravnsborg, a Republican, has been charged with reckless driving, using a mobile electronic device and disobeying his lane on the night of the crash that killed Joseph Boever, a 55-year-old pedestrian, in the night of September 19. 12. Each of these charges, which are all misdemeanors, carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $ 500.

The case has cast a shadow over South Dakota state policy. Officials on both sides of the aisle, including Kristi Noem, the Republican governor, called on Mr Ravnsborg to step down.

A spokesperson said on Wednesday that Mr Ravnsborg had no intention of resigning.

After the crash, Mr Ravnsborg, who took office in January 2019, first told authorities he hit something he said was most likely a deer. But Ms Noem urged people to watch videos released by the state in February, which showed Mr Ravnsborg was facing investigators.

That month, the governor said in A declaration that with the charges laid and the investigation completed, “I think the attorney general should resign.” Three police groups, including the South Dakota Sheriffs’ Association, have also asked Mr Ravnsborg to step down, citing a lack of confidence in his ability to be the state’s top law enforcement official. And a bipartisan group of lawmakers tabled a resolution proposing the possibility of removing Mr. Ravnsborg, writing that the Attorney General “must be removed from office”.

Shortly after, on February 25, a judge issued a gag order forcing state officials to stop disclosing evidence and remove the videos.

Jamie Smith, a Democrat who sponsored the impeachment resolution on Wednesday, said the possibility of future impeachment efforts would depend on what happens with Mr Ravnsborg’s case.

“I still don’t think he’s able to do his job effectively, so we’re going to have to see,” he said. “It’s a big cloud hovering over this desk.”

Days after the crash, Mr Ravnsborg said in a statement that he had personally found the body of Mr. Boever the day after the accident. And in the two videos which were briefly released by the state, Mr Ravnsborg told the story of what he said happened on the night of the crash.

In the first video, from September 14, Mr Ravnsborg told investigators he was walking home alone after a Republican Party dinner on the night of September 12 and after driving through Highmore town he had sped up to approximately 67 miles per hour on US Highway 14.

“And then, quite frankly, wham,” he said. “I knocked, the incident happened. I never saw anything until impact. He said he jumped out of the car and called 911. He then hung up, used his phone’s flashlight, and looked around the freeway and the ditch.

“I think it’s a deer at this point, but I didn’t see anything,” he told two investigators during the interview, adding that he had not seen blood or fur during the interview. from the impact, just debris from his car.

After the sheriff arrived, he arranged for a tow truck and loaned a vehicle to Mr Ravnsborg so he could return home.

The next morning, on his way to the vehicle, Mr Ravnsborg and a member of staff pulled up to the scene of the crash, where Mr Ravnsborg said he found a body in a ditch. The body was later identified as Mr. Boever, of Highmore, SD

When investigators told him in the first interview that they found a broken pair of glasses in his car, Mr Ravnsborg could not say whether they belonged to him, although he said he was not wearing glasses.

During the second interview on September 30, Mr. Ravnsborg was told that the glasses belonged to Mr. Boever. “It means his face went through your windshield,” one of the investigators said.

Mr Ravnsborg claimed that he had not seen Mr Boever that night.

Nick Nemec, one of Mr Boever’s cousins, said the family were shocked by what they heard in the videos. “It’s even worse than we thought,” Nemec said in an interview shortly after the videos aired.

The toxicological results showed no sign that Mr. Ravnsborg was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, prosecutors said. Mr Boever’s family asked why Mr Ravnsborg was not tested the night of the crash.

During one of the interviews, Mr. Ravnsborg defended his conduct.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong, and I’ve obviously replayed it in my head a thousand times,” he said. “I’ve never seen him – now him I’ve learned – or whatever I hit, and tried to react appropriately from there.”

Christine Hauser contributed reporting.

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Newsrust - US Top News: South Dakota Attorney General Expected To Reach Plea Deal
South Dakota Attorney General Expected To Reach Plea Deal
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