South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed a pedestrian in September, first saying that he thought he hit a deer. He was later charged with three misdemeanors in connection. On Tuesday, the state released an extraordinary trove of evidence related to the case, including video interviews with Ravnsborg.
The law enforcement interviews came after the Sept. 12 incident in Highmore, South Dakota, which left 55-year-old Joe Boever dead. Ravnsborg called 911 the night of the incident, and a county sheriff arrived to make a report, though, “At no time did either of us suspect that I had been involved in an accident with a person,” Ravnsborg recounted later. He returned to the scene the next day and discovered Boever’s body, setting off the investigation and the interviews with law enforcement.
Those interviews include the following exchanges, as transcribed by KELO:
“Do you normally wear glasses or anything when you’re driving?” an agent said.
“No,” Ravnsborg said.
“Okay. Any, like cheaters or anything?” an agent said.
“No,” Ravnsborg said.
“Okay. We found a pair of broken glasses in your vehicle, but they weren’t sunglasses, they almost look like cheaters of some sort,” an agent said. “There was like a black-framed glass, part of them was laying on the front passenger floorboard, and part of them were laying in the back seat, broke in half. Do you know? I wish I had a picture of them.”
Glasses came up in the second interview 16 days later.
“They’re Joe’s glasses,” an agent said.
“I wondered about that,” Ravnsborg said.
“So that means his face came through your windshield,” an agent said.
“His glasses are right there, Jason. Those are Joe’s …. so the only way for them to get there is through the windshield,” an agent said.
Ravnsborg says he didn’t see the glasses until the agent showed them to him.
“His face was in your windshield, Jason. Think about that,” an agent said.
You can watch Ravnsborg’s first interview with law enforcement below.
And the second:
Ravnsborg has refused to resign over the incident, as Governor Kristi Noem has called for. Legislators in the South Dakota House of Representatives, meanwhile, have moved to impeach him, according to the Associated Press. A representative for Ravnsborg gave media the following statement:
“The Attorney General does not intend to resign. At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office. Instead, he has handled some of the largest settlements and legislative issues the state has ever been through.
As an attorney and a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserves, AG Ravnsborg has fought for the rule of law and personal liberties and would hope that he is afforded the same right and courtesy.”
The three misdemeanors Ravnsborg has been charged with — careless driving, using a mobile electronic device and failing to stay in his lane — each carry maximum jail sentences of 30 days and up to $500 in fines each.