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Ravnsborg Weighs in on Killing Man with His Car in Hyde County

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg breaks out the official stationery to publish his account of what he did when he killed Joe Boever on Highway 14 just west of Highmore Saturday night:

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, statement on his killing of Joe Boever, 2020.09.14, p. 1.
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, statement on his killing of Joe Boever, 2020.09.14, p. 1.
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, statement on his killing of Joe Boever, 2020.09.14, p. 2.
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, statement on his killing of Joe Boever, 2020.09.14, p. 2.

With regrets to Boever’s family and friends, I highlight key points of Ravnsborg’s description of the killing and the discovery of the body:

Ravnsborg apparently views “ongoing investigation” as a conditional excuse for silence: he refuses to answer questions from the media out of “respect” for the “process” and a his desire to let investigators do their work “without any interference or appearance of impropriety on my part.” Yet he feels arguing his case in public, without cross-examination, does not interfere with the investigation at all.

Ravnsborg says he had drunk no alcohol Saturday night.

Ravnsborg fudges his story a bit, saying now that he initially thought the man he hit was “a large animal (likely a deer)”.

Note also the grammatical distancing: Ravnsborg says, “My vehicle struck something….” Making the subject of that sentence “my vehicle” instead of “I” is like saying “My firearm shot something” or “My pen wrote something.”

Ravnsborg says he stopped, called 9-1-1 immediately, and investigated the scene with Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek. He and the sheriff saw no sign of the large animal they were looking for.

Ravnsborg reports his car was too damaged to drive safely. That level of damage suggests Ravnsborg was moving at a pretty good clip coming out of Highmore.

Ravnsborg says Sheriff Volek, who lives near the accident site, loaned him his personal vehicle to go back to Pierre. Ravnsborg brought the car back in the morning with his chief of staff and spokesman, Tim Bormann, to drive him back.

Ravnsborg says he and Bormann stopped at the accident site on the way to Sheriff Volek’s house. The debris from Ravnsborg’s car was still on the road. Ravnsborg and Bormann walked the shoulder and “discovered the body of Mr. Boever in the grass just off the roadway. My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased.”

“Just off the roadway”—that’s a key detail. The victim was not thrown far away from the road into the beanfield. The grass in the ditch was not high: Boever had hit a hay bale in that ditch with his truck earlier Saturday; a KSFY photo also shows a bale in the ditch, indicating the ditch had been recently mowed. The body does not seem to have been hidden by vegetation.

Ravnsborg drove to Sheriff Volek’s house immediately to tell him they’d found a dead man. The Sheriff came back to the site with Ravnsborg and asked him to go back to Pierre.

An investigation suddenly graduates from car-deer accident to human fatality, and the sheriff on the scene tells the suspect apparently responsible for the death to leave the county?

Spokesman Tim Bormann tells the Rapid City Journal he didn’t know anything about the above statement, which Ravnsborg issued last night just after 10 p.m. Bormann says Ravnsborg is enlisting a new spokesman (because, sure, the Attorney General needs two spokespeople) RCJ’s Arielle Zionts reports that Ravnsborg’s new spokesmanification may be coming from Mike Deaver, who describes himself as a “friend of Jason’s,” lives in Salt Lake City, and is senior VP for the Utah office of Seattle-based PR firm Strategies 360. Evidently when things get real, South Dakota’s Republican leaders can’t rely on their usual in-state cronies; they have to call in the real talent from out of state.

111 Comments

  1. Dana P 2020-09-15

    Boy, this ‘story’ at a minimum, shows what exactly it means to be a protected class or ‘privileged’ in this state. If you are to take this story at face value. Joe Blow South Dakota citizen could not have gotten away with this type of response to a traffic fatality.

    The top cop in the state, discovers the deceased body of a the victim and leaves the scene (AGAIN!) Not staying there and calling 911 immediately, but leaves dead victim in ditch and drives to sheriff’s home? I mean, seriously? And then (like you’ve pointed out, Cory) the sheriff tells him to ‘go ahead and drive back to Pierre, Jason. We will go ahead and handle this dead guy in the ditch kerfluffle.’

    The top cop in the state, understands (or SHOULD understand), that it is imperative to let investigations play out and give investigators time to do what they need to do. Without making public statements like he has done now. At about 10-ish, on a Monday night.

    Odd (but not) that the very strange three minute press conference on Sunday afternoon didn’t include any of the ‘details’ that our top cop has provided. In fact, the only thing that Ms Noem and the DPS dude could say, is that they weren’t going to comment on an on-going investigation. If they had a crystal ball, they could have said, ‘but our AG will be making a full statement tomorrow evening’.

    This statement is something else, that’s for sure. Or as LEO’s investigators are no doubt thinking at this point — thanks for the statement Jason. You are now roped into a story, that you better hope, the evidence and our investigation backs up.

  2. Francis Schaffer 2020-09-15

    I wonder why he only gave names of those who could(would) confirm he wasn’t drinking? He should have given a list of names of those who were there and let the investigators take it from there. He has already skewed the investigation in his favor; my opinion. My sincere condolences to all of Joe’s relatives and friends. I will pray for you as you go through your grieving process. I cannot image the anguish and now the public event it may become.

  3. sx123 2020-09-15

    If that seemingly uninvolved white pickup was taken in as evidence, the wrecked car, sheriff’s personal car, and sheriff’s house need to be taken in as evidence. I can think of so many unmentionable twisted plots to this already weird story.

    Should have stayed put and called 911 again after discovering the body the next morning, not drove to the sheriff’s house.

  4. mike from iowa 2020-09-15

    Doesn’t sound like Ravnsborg is disgusted with himself enough to offer to resign. I can see a point where local authorities fall on their swords and say enough mistakes were made they cannot, in good conscience, charge the killer with any serious crimes.

    Color me cynical as hell!

  5. Loren 2020-09-15

    Too many moving parts. Two days to come up with this? As sx pointed out, why would someone call 911 from that very site when they thought they hit an animal, but went drive-about after they found a deceased person… especially if YOU were the one that possibly hit that person? Between Kristi and Jason, SD is getting a lot of national press, lately. !@#%^&*

  6. Sharon Vestal 2020-09-15

    Why is his statement on the Attorney General letterhead? If you read the statement closely, it doesn’t say that the Sheriff used any light to look for something in the ditch. He surveyed the damage at the scene and to the vehicle. He gave him a tag so he could get the vehicle repaired. It sounds like the damage to the 2011 Ford Taurus was bad–was it enough to total the vehicle.

    I really want to hear from the tow truck driver–it sounds like it was towed late that evening.

  7. jerry 2020-09-15

    As Ravansborg was unsure of what he had hit, then how did a trained sheriff not see the body in a mowed ditch that was not that steep? Also, with the pickup being there, I’m surprised that the sheriff didn’t have the curiosity of a policeman to check that out. I think before this is over, South Dakota will need a new Attorney General and Hyde County will need a new sheriff.

    How much are all of these out of state mouthpieces taking from the Cares Act? When will Ravansborg be arrested and charged?

  8. leslie 2020-09-15

    Out of state mouth pieces!

  9. leslie 2020-09-15

    My deepest sympathy for the families of all involved, and my sad and sincere regret for Jason’s in involvement. I have a loved one who had a felony vehicular battery just out of high school which prosecutors dogged for ten years. Goodbye college dreams. “Felon/prison” is a hellava stigma to recover from. LEO and the court systems largely still do not understand addiction, until it happens to their family.

  10. Timoteo 2020-09-15

    We must remember we don’t know what happened, but I quite agree it’s hard to understand how the driver doesn’t seem to have seen (in front of himself) before striking this person.

  11. leslie 2020-09-15

    Senator Rounds and Jason have likely spoken since Saturday night and Round’s would have, in character, advised—speak to investigators only once for appearances so you can go home, thereafter written questions only, no lawyers from the other side, no cross examination (EB5). The GOP will protect you. Sound familiar? Trump’s behavior. Or Daugaard’s Gear Up investigation of his unaccountable DOE and fall guy prosecution. This is why Steve and his pal Tim get so bent; that we the people deign to hold Republicans in office accountable.

  12. Edwin Arndt 2020-09-15

    I’m not saying that the ditch wasn’t recently mowed, but just because
    there is a hay bale in the ditch doesn’t mean it was. The bale could
    have been there for a couple of weeks or more. There are often deadlines
    for moving bales in the ditch and the deadlines are often extended until
    the farmer gets around to moving the bales.

  13. jerry 2020-09-15

    Except there are pictures and video of the ditch, so there is that and also of the tracks of a vehicle driving on the shoulder as that is what Ravansborg was doing when he hit the man.

  14. Jeff Barth 2020-09-15

    I just hope the victim was not laying in the ditch,alive for hours.

  15. Steve 2020-09-15

    Did the AG’s car have an “Event Data Recorder”, which most cars have had for many years? That would tell the AG’s speed a few seconds before the accident and whether or not he braked.

  16. Jeff Barth 2020-09-15

    “.. I am providing this information to dispel some of the rumor and innuendo that have been circulating…”

    Why not dispel all the rumors and innuendo, not just some?

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-15

    Edwin, I welcome better views of the ditch from other photos. But the images I’ve seen suggest recently cut grass.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-15

    Dana, I always chafe at public officials using “ongoing investigation” as an excuse to be transparent with the public; however, I will acknowledge the need for caution and not tainting investigations with public pressure based on incomplete information.

    But Jason has chosen to speak up. He doesn’t get to have it both ways. He either needs to remain completely silent, or he needs to open up and take questions. He doesn’t get to offer his argument in public while the investigation continues but not face cross-examination from the press.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-15

    Indeed, Jeff, why didn’t the AG speak out on the rumor and innuendo we’re hearing from Ravnsborg’s manslaughter apologists as they speculate that the victim was behaving irresponsibly?

  20. Loren 2020-09-15

    Sharon brings up an interesting point. Jason’s car was removed from the scene while the pickup in the ditch is being detained as “evidence?” Really? The “debris field was still on the road” at 0800 hrs, but the car had been removed? If you are going to remove the car from the road, wouldn’t you also pick up the pieces… or would you leave the entire scene in tact? Has this sheriff been thru any kind of investigative training? Is the county so strapped for cash that the sheriff can’t afford a flash lite? For most law enforcement, a good flash lite is standard equipment. Oh well, it’s SD. !@#%^&*

  21. Dana P 2020-09-15

    Agreed, Cory. I do believe caution and transparency, not to bias the public, is critical. No question. I guess I was just more trying to say that if things were so cut and dry, like the AG is trying to push public perception to be, then those details would have already been released more than likely. I’m sure that heads were exploding last night when he released his statement. And you are correct, Mr Ravnsborg wants it both ways. Ok to put out a statement, but not open to any questions?

    Bull hockey

  22. ds 2020-09-15

    Please join me in sending a functional flashlight to:

    Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek
    PO Box 521
    Highmore, SD 57345

  23. ds 2020-09-15

    But the next morning the body was clearly visible when just driving by? Or since nobody else that traveled the highway that morning reported seeing the body, did he know exactly where to look? How long had the sun been up? Hmmmm…

  24. mike from iowa 2020-09-15

    From many years of observation of mowed/baled road ditches, the ditch where the pickup was photographed wasn’t necessarily mowed a few days ago, but the relatively short grass at this time of the year shows late summer/early fall grass will not grow back as fast as earlier cuttings. Especially in a dryer year.

    That leads me to think that whatever search for deer carcass on the night of the accident was inadequate, at best.

    A deer’s white hair shows up at a good distance even on dark nights.

  25. o 2020-09-15

    Shron asks my question: “Why is his statement on the Attorney General letterhead?” Unless, as the GOP made the impeachment argument with President Clinton, as a man of the law, he ought to know the law and expectations of conduct under the law BETTER than the average citizen. Is the Attorney General making the point that he should be held to a HIGHER standard?

  26. Eve Fisher 2020-09-15

    If I remember correctly, as a lawyer, Mr. Ravnsborg had never tried a case in court. He may not know the law or expectations of conduct all that well.

  27. Wayne 2020-09-15

    I’ve hit deer at night… coon too. I’ve had a deer hit me in broad daylight. I’ve had close calls too, and been passenger to a few more deer strikes and close calls.

    Not once did I fail to see what I hit. This is because my ocular organs were where they belonged – on the road. If the AG’s car was damaged to the point where he felt it wasn’t safe to drive, that tells me a frontal or front-clip collision, which would lead one to speculate that the AG’s eyes were not on the road at the time of the collision.

    Headlights let you see about 350 feet in front of you. At 65 mph, that’s about 95 feet per second. That’s about 3.5 seconds. That’s not enough time to stop. But it’s enough time to do a course correction. But you have to see the obstacle to swerve.

    I’ll take at face value the assertions the AG wasn’t intoxicated. The witnesses from the Lincoln Day Dinner are compelling, but not as much as the county sheriff loaning his car. No way would a sheriff lend a personal vehicle to someone who was intoxicated.

    Not knowing what clothing the victim wore makes it tougher to say how easy it would be to spot in the grass. Bright clothing reflects better than a dull Carhartt coat. Keep in mind the moon was in third quarter (and I don’t know if it was overcast that night around Highmore), and an iPhone flashlight doesn’t do diddly squat outside of 10-15 feet unless you flash off some reflectors.

    From the video & picture, the grass isn’t terribly tall (maybe 8 – 10 inches), but it has gone to seed right off the shoulder, so it’s not a freshly mowed lawn. I don’t know how tough it’d be to see a prostrate body in the grass at night if you’re driving along in a car relying on headlights to see it. You get better visibility if you’re higher up.

    Understanding how far you can go at highway speeds, my hunch is that the AG, and later the Sheriff, were looking in the wrong place. I also suspect, as MFI mentions, that it wasn’t a terribly thorough search. It’s not uncommon for deer to run long distances before succumbing to their injuries, even in bad strikes, so the mindset may not have been to find it at all costs. I know the sheriff’s deputy that helped me look for the buck that hit me didn’t go to any great length to track it down; it wasn’t in the road ditch so it wasn’t a concern for traffic.

    To Loren’s comment about the AG’s car; it doesn’t surprise me that it was removed prior to the investigation. When everyone thought it was an animal strike, you call a tow truck and get ‘er back to Pierre. I can bet you pennies to pesos that car has gone through the evidence-collection ringer. I still can’t fathom why the pickup would be towed though, as it wasn’t directly involved in the incident.

    Ultimately what this statement is trying to accomplish is demonstrate he wasn’t reckless or careless, and complied with authorities when instructed. It’s a great strategy to get ahead of a vehicular homicide charge. If alcohol wasn’t a factor, then it’s the state’s duty to prove the AG was driving without reasonable caution. That’s going to be tougher to prove without evidence he was texting / calling / surfing the internet on his phone.

    The AG now has a version of events out there for the world. Forfend that the investigators find something contradicting that version.

  28. mike from iowa 2020-09-15

    No way would a sheriff lend a personal vehicle to someone who was intoxicated.

    Unless there was a chance for job enhancement, say to the DCI or bodyguard for the Queen Bee.

  29. Debbo 2020-09-15

    One can be intoxicated enough to slow down reactions without appearing drunk.

  30. jerry 2020-09-15

    I have not read if Ravonsborg was by himself or if he had a someone else with him. If so, that may explain the sheriff’s agreement to lend his car to the other person.

    I am curious as to why he seemed to be driving on the shoulder of the road. As it seems to look like, that should be enough to charge him for reckless driving and arrest him for that as part of the ongoing investigation.

  31. Bob Newland 2020-09-15

    I think Jase will prolly resign before this is over. He’ll be pretty lucky not to do time and get disbarred.

  32. Bob Newland 2020-09-15

    duplicate redacted

  33. sx123 2020-09-15

    He went out of his way to mention that alcohol wasn’t involved, but didn’t say he wasn’t texting, wasn’t sleeping, and wasn’t speeding. Three other obvious things one might want to clear up if one wasn’t doing at the time of impact.

  34. Caroline 2020-09-15

    I have a question about the timeline of events. Was Mr. Boever reported missing by his cousin before or after the body was “discovered “ on Sunday morning?

  35. grudznick 2020-09-15

    I listen to my good friend Bob, who is oft righter than right.

  36. Sharon Vestal 2020-09-15

    Please look at the Rapid City Journal pictures of the skid marks. It appears that Highway 14 has rumble strips to “wake you up” if you get too close to the shoulder. So why didn’t he become more alert?

  37. Mike Livingston 2020-09-15

    Really i can’t wrap my my head around being censored by a fair and responsible source of balanced journalistic information, but i have learned how to accept defeat from the weaklings who tremble at the thought of having to defend their position but it’s understandable that some people would rather be sheep than risk losing the ill gotten gains of being a Trumpian scapegoat.

  38. T 2020-09-15

    So was the original car a state car or his privately owned car? Did I miss this in all the reporting?
    And if the sheriff was there after it happened, where was his flashlight? They always have one bright enough to make a person blind

  39. Dana Hanna 2020-09-15

    Mark my words: the official story that will come out of the State’s investigation will blame the victim for his death.

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-15

    I appreciate Wayne’s reminder that if we keep our eyes on the road, we’ll have no trouble discerning deer from dude, even while driving at night.

    Eyes on the road—there’s no test for that. But Ravnsborg did hand over both of his cell phones. Diligent investigators could determine whether Ravnsborg was calling or texting at the time of the crash. If Ravnsborg had location services on, they could even time that phone activity with Ravnsborg’s speed and his stop.

  41. Mike Livingston 2020-09-15

    YO T as i recall it was referred to as a 2011 Taurus doubtful that it was signed out to the AG if it was a state unit.

    i

  42. Jenny 2020-09-15

    That is a good question,Caroline.

    Joe Boever was reported missing by his cousin, Victor Nemec on Sunday morning. This would have been after the body was discovered because Victor noted seeing the police scene on the way to his cousins house that morning. Sheriff Mike Volek’s odd behavior is one of the more frustrating concerns in this whole tragedy. Why wouldn’t he have told Victor that a body was found on highway 14? Why did Joe’s family have to wait until Sunday evening to be told? So many questions and Gov Noem’s press conference today was another joke. There is no empathy at all for Joe’s family from the gov and she acts as if it’s all an inconvenience for her. There are more important things for her to do like run around the country campaigning for Trump and going on Fox News. She relied “we can’t comment on that” almost before the questions were asked.
    Our Gov Walz here in MN always speaks out of genuine concern, compassion and empathy for the people. One never doubts his caring for people going through tragedy or hardships. As I watched Noem today, as a cousin of the deceased, Joe Boever, I felt a coldness from her and that this was all just a bother from her National name status agenda.

  43. Caroline 2020-09-15

    Jenny, Thank you for your reply. I suspected as much. Giving the sheriff the benefit of the doubt, isn’t it very likely that the state authorities told the sheriff to keep his mouth shut? I don’t know any of the parties involved but I can see that happening. My sympathies to the family. Losing a family member is hard enough without all of this that you are going through.

  44. Nick Nemec 2020-09-15

    Having read through the comments I feel I must clear up some of the speculation. Today, 9-15-2020, I went to the accident scene to see it for myself and get a better handle on the events surrounding my cousin Joe’s death.

    The accident happened just into a 65mph zone shortly after it had transitioned from 45mph, a little over 1/4 mile west of the junction of US14 and SD47.

    At the time the brakes were applied (clearly visible due to tire skid marks) the right hand tires of the car were well onto the shoulder of the road. This stretch of US14 has wide paved shoulders with rumble strips at the white line.

    I stepped off the tire skid marks and they went on for over 200 feet before there were two parallel blood skid marks on the paved shoulder. This first blood marks were about 6″ wide and 6′-8′ long. There was then a skip for about 20 feet before a wider blood skid mark closer to the edge of the shoulder that was about 1′ wide and 20′ long. There was then another skip of about 20′ until a dried pool of blood in the grass on the edge of the road.

    The pool of blood was 2′ from the edge of the pavement (I measured with a tape measure) the grass here had been mowed late this summer and had regrown to 8″ tall (I measured it). This was the very edge of the grass and the ground was nearly level with the shoulder of the road at this point, the ditch slope had not really begun yet. Black flies were buzzing in the air just above the blood pool.

    As I stood there a flatbed truck drove by carrying a red Ford Taurus with a huge hole in the passenger side of the windshield. The truck turned into the SD DOT yard near the speed limit sign and drove into the shop and the overhead door quickly closed. Highway patrolmen and other authority figures immediately surrounded my vehicle as I drove up to the building and parked. I requested permission to photograph the windshield of the vehicle and was denied. A photograph of the red Ford I saw being hauled into the DOT shed in Highmore that was taken when it was still in Pierre, is on the Keloland TV web site

    The HP told me they were doing another accident investigation and needed the red Ford back in Highmore. I eventually asked permission to leave the DOT yard and permission was granted. I ran some errands in Highmore and left town less than an hour later, by that time US14 was reduced to one lane with a pilot car leading traffic through the accident area, the scene was being investigated for the second time in three days. I saw traffic cones marking stuff and new paint marks of a different color on the road. I don’t know how long the road was reduced to one lane but a friend told my brother Victor that FBI agents were seen on the scene later that afternoon.

  45. Mike Livingston 2020-09-15

    The circumstantial evidence is so obviously tilted that it has to be some of kelleyannes alternative facts. i am not certain that every member of the elephant tribe is willing to stake their future to a conman from Queens New York. Little Queenie has got an adult decision to make and if we are lucky she will stand fast and and chose party over state as per usual.

  46. Jenny 2020-09-15

    Thank you, Caroline. I think the sheriff naively believed Ravnsborg when he first told him it was a deer he hit. I don’t think either of them bothered looking for it that night. I think Sheriff Volek probably didn’t want to tell family right away about the body found the next morning because the investigation was first starting. Yes you’re right, Volek could very well have been told to not speak to family until they are ready.

  47. Debbo 2020-09-15

    I’m so sorry to you and your family, Nick.

    Thank you for the information. I understand your need to conduct as much of your own investigation as you can. The SDGOP has a long history of deceit and dishonesty covering their criminality.

    In the later 1960s I hit a black cow on a very dark country road far from any artificial light. I knew without question that it was a black cow I had hit even though headlights then weren’t as powerful as they are now.

    I walked the half mile to the neighbor’s farm, told them about their cow and called home.

    The farmer who owned the cow went out that night to find her because she had hobbled off on 3 legs. He didn’t want her to suffer. He searched until he found her. Took a couple hours.

    Ravsbutt couldn’t even be as caring and decent as that farmer and I. 🤬 🤬 🤬 🤬 🤬

  48. Wayne 2020-09-15

    Having watched the “press conference” I have to wonder why they bothered. I agree with Jenny’s assessment that Noem was distant and could have used some coaching on how to convey sympathy.

    Nick, thanks for those details. Again, I’m sorry for your loss and what your family is going through.

    Could you verify how far the final pool of blood was from where the car came to a stop? How far was it from where the AG’s car stopped to where the Joe’s truck was located?

    Between your observation and the video the Argus had, it really looks like the AG drifted over the white line onto the shoulder, which lends credence to the hypothesis of inattentive / distracted driving.

    Even if it bears out that a cell phone wasn’t involved, I would encourage everyone who reads this to remember that events like this can be avoided, and it’s folly to think this can’t happen to you.

    Put down the dang phone. It can wait. As a guy who enjoys motorcycles, I can’t stress enough the responsibility of driving 4,000+ lbs of metal and plastic around.

  49. Don 2020-09-15

    Ravnsborg said he didn’t drink at the fundraiser, but was he drinking after he headed back to Pierre???

  50. Francis Schaffer 2020-09-15

    Nick,
    My sincere condolences, you shouldn’t have to do your own accident investigation into the killing of your cousin Joe. I read your description of the scene and from your details someone has some explaining to do; in my opinion.

  51. T 2020-09-15

    I’m not impressed with the fact he was almost congratulated for turning over his cell phones big deal, the important one was still in his pocket

  52. lora hubbel 2020-09-15

    They are already changing the story…even in this, your article, the hyperlink to “bean field” for example. Im sure the original story said something about a bean field…and any mention to a bean field is now scrubbed. Also the Argus leader update has an important quote removed in the following article…where the original has Jason quoted as saying “I don’t think I had anything to drink that night…now its changed in the update to “I DID NOT DRINK THAT NIGHT …IN FACT I NEVER DRINK” (not a true quote but my paraphrase). Gosh, from experience, I KNEW I should have printed out the first story like I did in the Benda scandal. https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2020/09/14/family-speaks-out-after-man-killed-accident-involving-attorney-general-jason-ravnsborg/5791660002/

  53. Lanny Stricherz 2020-09-16

    Nick, I came on the site hoping to see any comment you might make. I have always enjoyed your comments, not this time so much. You and your family have my sincerest sympathy.

    Dana Hanna has it exactly right. It’s going to turn out that Mr Boever’s pickup ran over him, just like the shotgun standing by the tree is what Richard Benda used to commit suicide.

  54. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-16

    Lora, the photo of the beanfield is still in the KSFY article to which I link. I don’t think they mentioned the field in words in the original; I simply cited the photographic evidence.

  55. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-16

    Don, Ravnsborg says he consumed no alcoholic beverages before, during, or after the event.

    But as Nick describes, the right hand tires laid their skid mark in the shoulder. The red Taurus is damaged on the right side. The blood skid marks are in the shoulder.

  56. Dana Hanna 2020-09-16

    To arrive at the truth you have to ask the right questions.

    Driver’s windshield in front of the passenger’s seat is damaged. Doesn’t that means that the victim’s body was struck by the car on the right side of the car, when victim was walking along the highway,
    and victim was then throw over and onto the right side of the hood of the car, with this head and body striking the windshield? In which case, how could the driver , if he was awake, not have seen the victim ?

  57. mike from iowa 2020-09-16

    Devil’s Advocate here, does South Dakota have codified laws about walking on the wrong side of the road?

  58. Lora Hubbel 2020-09-16

    Mike from Iowa…how do you know the victim was walking on the wrong side of the road? Maybe he went to get his cell phone or cigarrettes that he may have left in the pickup and was returning home when he got hit.

  59. mike from iowa 2020-09-16

    In am assuming the victim, if he was walking in the proper direction going home, would have seen the vehicle coming at him on the shoulder of the road. All guesswork on my part, but, any law broken by the pedestrian could mitigate whose at fault in the accident.

  60. Dana Hanna 2020-09-16

    Just read the RCJ article on the State’s investigation. Secretary of Department of Public Safety, Craig Price, advised the press and public that the State’s Attorney of Hyde County will decide whether criminal charges will be filed against the Attorney General. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The State’s Attorney General is the boss of all State’s Attorneys in South Dakota. The AG has huge influence over State’s prosecutors’ offices, in terms of withholding or providing resources, overseeing and monitoring criminal prosecutions and civil matters involving the State’s Attorney’s Offices. This is a clear and in your face conflict of interests. The Governor has a duty to appoint a special prosecutor to make the call on whether the Attorney General should be prosecuted.

  61. John M. Fitzgerald 2020-09-16

    Why did he not call 911 after finding the body of Mr. Boever?

  62. Lora Hubbel 2020-09-16

    Mike from Iowa I do agree with you. But what if he saw it and could not get out of the way…Jason’s car swerved INTO the ditch according to the tire marks. There was no place for him to go – even if he was walking on the left side of road.

  63. mike from iowa 2020-09-16

    Hopefully, Nick and family and Mr Boever’s family get satisfactory answers before all is said and done. I have no faith in South Dakota government to conduct any investigation.

  64. Richard Schriever 2020-09-16

    mfi – SDCL: 32-27-5. Highways without sidewalks–Duty to walk facing traffic–Violation as petty offense.

    Where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along or upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

  65. mike from iowa 2020-09-16

    Thanks, Richard. Good find.

  66. Donna Nix 2020-09-16

    I hope they examine the possibility that Ravnsborg fell asleep at the wheel. We know he was in Rapid City Friday evening. Got home early Saturday morning. Possibly sleep deprived when he has to go to Redfield Saturday afternoon? Its the only semi-plausible explanation for not knowing what you hit.

  67. lora hubbel 2020-09-16

    Richard Schriever, and Mike from Iowa….it is impossible to know if he was coming or going from his vehicle so it is impossible to know if he was walking to his left or right side of the road or not. Even if the autopsy shows what side of the body was hit, he could have turned around just before impact. But I believe the pedestrian has the right of way NOT MATTER WHAT in SD.

  68. lora hubbel 2020-09-16

    Oops, maybe not, that may have been repealed

  69. John M. Fitzgerald 2020-09-16

    @Dana Hanna. The circuit court also has the ability to appoint a special prosecutor. State v. Basham 170 N.W.2d 238 SD 1969

  70. Debbo 2020-09-16

    Nothing the state of South Dakota “investigates” can be trusted. They’ve clearly established that through even a cursory examination of the SDGOP’s past half century history.

  71. mike from iowa 2020-09-16

    We do know Ravnsborg was travelling west towards Pierre and so far there has been no mention of him crossing into the wrong lane, so it stands to reason Mr Boever was walking on the North side of the road. Whether he was heading out or back towards town.

    A tragedy like this still should not have happened. I don’t feel I should say more until the investigators release their info.

  72. lora hubbel 2020-09-16

    Mike from Iowa…yes…exactly my point

  73. lora hubbel 2020-09-16

    Sorry for posting so much, but just wondering if your audience has an answer. I have never hit a deer…but almost once. Here is my question. The window was broken clear through (right? or am I imagining that on the pictures?). Nothing would “bounce” off that, wouldn’t a body in motion keep going in the same trajectory through the open window? Is there any evidence that Mr. Boever was maybe partway IN Jason’s car for a time?

  74. Lanny V Stricherz 2020-09-16

    Which of course brings into question, what possible reason could there have been to bring the car back from Pierre into a state garage in Highmore? Thanks

  75. lora hubbel 2020-09-16

    BTW I cannot find the Keloland Video anymore where Angela Kennecke (if I recall she had on a black sleeveless dress) shows a picture of Jason’s car with the window broken out. If you can find it please post the link for me

  76. Rachael 2020-09-16

    I, too, was concerned by the use of passive language here; as if the car was self-driven and he merely an observer. I trust no facet of this investigation and feel horrible for the victim’s family.

  77. grudznick 2020-09-16

    Ms. Hubbel, was it the black sleeveless dress or the grey one with short sleeves you’re thinking of? I liked the short sleeved one better because she should cover her bingo wings a bit more, but in both cases if I recall, Ms. Kennecke was standing with her left foot out in front, slightly, of her right, and at a bit of an angle. Sort of how you were taught to stand, I’m sure, during your campaigns for Governor.

  78. Jenny 2020-09-16

    Why would there be steaks of blood in three different places? Was the body dragged, did Joe himself crawl into the ditch and died there? My sister has hit deer five times while living in NE MT and each time there was deer hair all over the car inside and out.
    The Sheriff didn’t do a very good job inspecting the car and surrounding area. How ironic that Ravsnborg came right back to find the body. Who is that excited to go right back to the place you crashed the very next day? We will never know and Lora is right. It sure looks like the body hit the wind shield severe enough that one would be tell what it was unless he was distracted. Any car accident experts on here?
    I am certain that Ravnsborg had to have been speeding and probably distracted. Why else would he be driving on the shoulder?

  79. Jenny 2020-09-16

    Take a hike, Grudz. Cory, grudz is sexually harassing women again. Can you tell him to leave?
    Please leave, Grudznick. You are a sick person to crack jokes when my family is mourning a senseless death and the good people on here are trying to figure it all out. You are not welcome here.

  80. grudznick 2020-09-16

    I’m asking questions, Ms. Jenny, and awaiting the results of the investigations, just like you are. You know better than I there is no joke here.

  81. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-16

    On Jenny’s questions at 19:07 and Nick’s description of the streaks… and I apologize for the graphic speculation, but, well, here we are:

    Nemec: “I stepped off the tire skid marks and they went on for over 200 feet before there were two parallel blood skid marks on the paved shoulder. This first blood marks were about 6″ wide and 6′-8′ long. There was then a skip for about 20 feet before a wider blood skid mark closer to the edge of the shoulder that was about 1′ wide and 20′ long. There was then another skip of about 20′ until a dried pool of blood in the grass on the edge of the road.”

    I’d like to believe that that lengthy braking skid before the blood indicates the driver was not distracted, saw some hazard ahead, and stomped on the brakes a couple seconds before impact. But if the driver saw the obstruction that far ahead, there’s a strong chance he would have been able to discern man from deer. The beginning of the skid mark suggests the driver didn’t stomp on the brake (you’ve got to stomp to leave skid marks, right?) until he was out of his lane, in the shoulder, and perhaps had struck the pedestrian.

    At 60 miles an hour, a car covers 88 feet per second. This stopping-distance calculator says an alert driver on a dry road in a well-maintained car can brake to a stop in 180 feet.

    Nick’s account indicates a hard braking distance of around 250 feet. On the stopping-distance calculator, that gets us up to 70 mph. Of course, if the car had crappy brakes, the speed could have been significantly less.

    Sensitive readers, friends of the victim, if you haven’t already, please turn away now.

    The skid patterns Nick Nemec describes fit the following scenario:

    1. Beginning of tire skid mark: Right front corner of car hits pedestrian on shoulder of highway. Victim’s body flies up, smashes windshield, becomes lodged there. Driver reacts by hitting brakes.
    2. 200′ of tire skid mark: vehicle decelerates, with victim on car.
    3. First 6″ wide, 6’–8′ long blood mark on road: Victim’s limb slides off hood of car, drags on front right tire and ground.
    4. 20′ skip: Part of body contacting ground bounces up from ground.
    5. Second blood mark, 1′ wide, 20′ long: Victim’s body makes longer contact with tire and or ground.
    6. Second 20′ skip: Car stops. Momentum dislodges victim’s body from hood/windshield. Body flies forward.
    7. Dried pool of blood at edge of road: Body hits road 20′ in front of stopped car.

    Note that, in this scenario, during the five or so seconds from #1 to #6, the victim is four feet from the driver, on the hood of his car, right up against his shattered windshield. That’s a long time to have something that close and not be able to realize it doesn’t have antlers or four legs.

  82. T 2020-09-17

    CH
    Well done
    He knew what he hit the coward he is, he knew what he it.

  83. Jenny 2020-09-17

    You were not asking questions Grudz, you were making derogatory comments about Angele Kennecke’s body. You better knock it off, Cory has about had it with you. For years you have belittled women on here and I’ve had enough and so have lots of other people on here. Please do us a favor and leave.

  84. Jenny 2020-09-17

    Thank you Cory. I sure hope Nick took lots of photos of the scene. Thanks to the person who took the photo of the car when it was in Pierre. That one photo has helped us understand this all a little bit better. So thank you whoever you are.

  85. Lanny V Stricherz 2020-09-17

    Thanks Jenny, Grudznik is the main reason why I left this blog several years ago. He or she (anonymity is still allowed) is nothing but a troll and should have been kicked off a long time ago. Apparently there are some who think Grudznik’s pathetic attempt at humor is okay.

  86. Britt Long 2020-09-17

    Lora Hubbel, here’s the link to the article showing a picture of what appears to be Ravnsborg’s car with the passenger-side windshield smashed in. https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/agencies-from-three-states-taking-part-in-investigation-into-attorney-generals-fatal-crash/ The plates are not legible.

    Victor Nemec’s observation of blood on the road itself was published 9/14 by the New York Times, early enough that that the investigative authorities should also have been able to locate, document, and DNA test it (no rain Saturday or Sunday night). https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/us/south-dakota-attorney-general-car-crash.html If investigators did not do so, that would seem to say quite a bit about what they already knew about what happenned that night.

    I earnestly hope the Nemecs have photographs. If they don’t (and even if they do) I also earnestly hope they are retaining an out-of-state lawyer to represent them as much to protect them from agressive and unscrupulous supporters of the AG in the Bar, the community, and law enforcement who will attack thier charcters to protect Ravnsborg as much as to seek redress from him. A SD lawyer would not be independent of the Bar.

    I say this based on my personal experience with the past Governor, AG and State Bar covering up tax felon and Black Hills Patrol former(?) owner Ken Orrock’s ongoing misconduct as Bennett County State’s Attorney (total disclosure: I ran against him and neither of us won, I sued him and he avoided service, three times, with the help of Attorney Rebecca Mann at the firm that also employs Marty Jackley (Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore).

    For additional pespective, take a glance at DCI’s role in the Mette foster child rape scandal, destroying the careers and bringing false criminal charges against SD professionals who chose to do their jobs rather than adopt Jackley’s official story (Schwab and Taliaferro). https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/08/09/dci-agent-face-perjury-charge/13819781/

  87. Wayne 2020-09-17

    Jenny had a standing question about who goes back to the scene to look around. There’s a myriad of reasons – some nefarious, some banal. Keep in mind, it looks like it wasn’t very far at all from the gas station, so it really wasn’t out of the way. The AG could have decided to get some pictures for insurance purposes, or have a morbid curiosity for how bad the deer looked. He could have seen something in the north ditch on the way to the gas station and decided to go back after gassing up. It’s going to be hard to know what really went through his mind.

    Cory provided the ~why~ they needed to bring the car back. They needed to see how the Taurus handled on that road. How squashy were the brakes, etc, to determine speed.

    It’s also a critical question about when did braking start – prior to or after striking Boever. If prior to, it indicates the AG saw Boever and tried to stop (but then, why not swerve? If I remember nothing else from my motorcycle course, it’s that steering is often superior to braking.).

    At that point, how do you mis-identify what you hit?

    If the braking didn’t start until after impact, that lends credence to the testimony of not knowing what you hit, but assuming it was a deer (but again, with that kind of damage, deer hair would be everywhere). It still leaves open room for negligence.

  88. Eve Fisher 2020-09-17

    Yesterday, I was driving on Lotta Lane to go to Tomar Park in Sioux Falls. A young woman was jogging next to me. All of a sudden, she abruptly turned left, onto the road, and in front of my car. I honked my horn and slammed on the brakes, but because I’d kept my eyes on the road and was going the speed limit, I didn’t hit her.
    Just saying.

  89. leslie 2020-09-17

    Isn’t there a facebook comment from Jason about the evening? And that he “lightly drinks” according to someone. Blood was drawn the next day as a formality.

    As a prosecutor has he handled such cases?

    Was he ever in custody? Did he ever obtain legal advice? There appear to be numerous interruptions in the chain of evidence Jason influenced, before and after Sunday morning.

    Jason either dictated or drafted the above undated statement his office released, as a “stream of consciousness,” or he took lawyerly finesse over a period of time, thought, consultation, and reflection/research to produce it.

    Our top AG, Bill Barr certainly depicts manipulation of the system for his own benefit. Noem, Rounds, Daugaard and Janklow certainly have for theirs.

  90. Wayne 2020-09-17

    Eve,

    I’ve had too many close calls, whether on my bike, motorcycle, or auto. I was also in a bad collision a few years ago thanks to a distracted driver. Sioux Falls is especially bad for distracted driving. I won’t claim I’ve never looked at my phone why my vehicle is running, but I’ll tell you it’s dang rare. My truck can read me my texts, so I know if I need to call someone back; no need to take my eyes off the road. There are too many people with their eyes off the road for me to have my attention anywhere but on it.

  91. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-17

    Wayne, what scares me is that the photos show the shoulder on Highway 14 west of Highmore is really wide, with rumble strips. It’s the kind of shoulder that I look at and think, yeah, I’d love to ride my bike there, I’d be safe. But that only applies if I can count on everyone driving four wheels at 65 mph to be completely attentive to the road

  92. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-17

    Steering superior to braking: good point, Wayne… but I learned something really interesting when I trained to drive for PTI to pick up railroad drivers. Our trainer said that if your car starts to slide and you’re trying to regain control, your eyes will tend to lock on the the thing you’re about to run into, and your steering tends to go the way you are looking. Thus, the trainer said, if your car is headed for a tree, you have to consciously direct your eyes away from the tree to help get your wheels pointed away from the tree.

    Think about what that means for looking at your phone: turn to look at your phone, and your steering wheel will tend to head that direction, too.

    But for the crash: if Ravnsborg did spot Boever before he hit him, in whatever split second Ravnsborg had to react, he may have locked his eyes on the guy, making it harder for his steering brain to kick in and avoid the impact.

    That’s not an excuse: that’s a statement of why it’s so important to be alert at every moment behind the wheel, so you don’t end up in a slide, a skid, or a split-second emergency where it will be hard to consciously act against harmful instincts.

  93. leslie 2020-09-17

    96, not sure if u could find another collaborator worse enough than one being willing to take on Geo Soros out of the starting block.

    Fitz sure seems interested in the spot. The comparison with Minnesota’s compassionate governor is apt.

    What a sad day, again for the state, and Nemecs & family.

  94. Lora Hubbel 2020-09-17

    The first story came out withe Jason saying, “I didn’t think I was drinking that night.”
    Boy was that changed in a hurry…I should have known to get the copied on paper..But It was Joe Sneves’s (sp) story.

  95. Lora Hubbel 2020-09-17

    Wayne, thank you, thank you, thank you….used up all my ink printing it off and still didn’t get the whole article. But I got the paper’s quote and the source. Was worth running the printer dry! But I did recall it a little off …i thought the “he” in the article was Jason at first

  96. Baby Moon 2020-09-18

    I feel very confused about Rav’s decision the next morning to take Bormann with him, in the Sheriff’s vehicle, to return the Sheriff’s vehicle, saying something to the effect that Bormann was going to help drive him back to Pierre later after returning the Sheriff’s personal vehicle. In what? No more sheriff’s personal car, no more red Taurus. Given that Rav’s was disabled and in custody, what was the deal? Were they going to rent a vehicle to drive back to Pierre, together? (Good luck with that in Highmore, LOL) Did they have separate cars stashed in Highmore to take the return to Pierre trip, one for Bormann, one for Rav? Somebody at the cafe going to pick them up? How did they get back to Pierre? “Get back to Pierre, Jas, I’ll take it from here.” Go back to Pierre in what? The Sheriff’s car, again? Somebody following Bormann and Rav in a second car from Pierre? If so, who? Additional witness? Hitchhike? What’s up?

    Yea. Nothing ads up, really. Typical GOP style. “South Dakota RepubliCON ‘governance,’ how can I despise thee? Let me count the ways…”

  97. Micky 2020-09-21

    Just got my absentee ballot in the mail today. I noticed that Ravnsborg was listed as a Trump/Pence elector. Can he act as an elector if he’s under indictment or in jail when the selectoral college votes? Just wondering.

  98. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-21

    Micky, you pose a legal question to which I have no quick answer. I just responded to another commenter on another thread that SDCL 3-1-4 says that a public office becomes vacant if the elected official “Is convicted of any infamous crime or of any offense involving a violation of the official oath of the office.” But to invoke that statute, we’d need a conviction, and that won’t happen by December 14.

    But you do get me wondering if the appearance of an admitted killer on the ballot will affect anyone’s voting on November 3. How many people might see Ravnsborg’s name on the ballot, think, “He’s that guy who killed a man on the highway and thought it was a deer,” and vote for someone else?

  99. Peg 2020-09-21

    How many times has the sheriff seen a car/deer accident and the evidence that a deer carcass leaves on a vehicle (fur and fat)?

  100. mike from iowa 2020-09-22

    Master, what is the likelihood an admitted killer’s name on the ballot would be seen as a red badge of courage to a bloodthirsty base of ravenous South Dakota animals?

  101. Cody 2020-09-23

    Wayne,

    According to you Mr. Boever was walking in the lane of traffic? If you’re going to remove liability from the AG absent proof of texting etc as you say. Should Mr. Boever been walking against traffic? Yes. Should he (I would) have looked back and moved WAY OVER when he heard a car coming? Yes. But, a driver (the AG) is fully expected to stay on the road no matter what you are or aren’t doing.

    Also: “…No way would a sheriff lend a personal vehicle to someone who was intoxicated”.

    How do you know? You don’t know what people are capable of. I can see a scenario where:

    The AG lied to the Sheriff about being 100% sober.

    Maybe he just drank a little but just enough to be over limit?

    The Sheriff just decided that he would help him out of this no matter the cost, risks.

    Allowed the AG to wait around a bit before driving.

    Maybe the AG just fell asleep at the wheel

    Maybe the Sheriff drove him back himself

    Only the AG really knows exactly what happened

  102. lora hubbel 2020-09-24

    I still think the autopsy will show Mr Boever WAS walking against traffic like he should have been…and we will see that autopsy as soon as we see Richard Benda’s and Scott Westerhuis family’s. In other words…never…I submitted TWO FOIA requests to MArty Jackley for Benda’s autopsy and they were both refused. Check the death cert…maybe Chad Peters signed Mr Boever’s also…just like he did BOTH the Westerhius’s AND Benda’s. He wasn’t even a coroner when he did…he was a deputy coroner who had NO authority to write a death cert OR investigate a crime scene…but he did….for 2 HUGE SD cases.

  103. mike from iowa 2020-09-26

    Fake Noise was showing a picture of Ravnsborg and I swear, as I looked close at it, it morphed into a picture of Buddy Hackett.

  104. Debbo 2020-09-26

    🤣 🤣 🤣

  105. lora hubbel 2020-09-26

    Mike…why would you insult Buddy Hackett like that?

  106. mike from iowa 2020-09-27

    Uh, the Debbo made me do it? :)

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