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Killer Ravnsborg: “I Believe I Have Not Committed Any Crime”

In September, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg drove while distracted, killed Joe Boever with his car, then called 911 and said he hit something “in the middle of the road.” The police report confirms what Boever’s cousin, Nick Nemec, found at the crash scene: Ravnsborg killed Boever at the right edge of the road, with his car entirely in the shoulder.

Still incapable of wearing a tie properly—A.G. Jason Ravnsborg, speaking with reporters after Electoral College vote, video by Austin Goss, KSFY, screen cap 2020.12.14.
Still incapable of wearing a tie properly—A.G. Jason Ravnsborg, speaking with reporters after Electoral College vote, video by Austin Goss, KSFY, screen cap 2020.12.14.

After casting his Electoral College vote yesterday, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg told the press, “I believe I have not committed any crime.” He says he has never considered stepping down from his elected position in law enforcement and suggests those who contend he committed a crime are not being “accurate“:

“I am continuing to do my job for the people, including today,” Ravnsborg said. Ravnsborg has been seen at police academy graduation events, and has continued to be a part of various legal efforts through his government office. He said today that he never intended to take any kind of a leave of absence.

Ravnsborg said that he had attempted to reach out to the Boever family in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

When pressed about challenges to what he attests happened that night, Ravnsborg pushed back.

“I would take great dispute (to the fact) that we are lying. Some things have come out that I do not believe were accurate also,” Ravnsborg said. “We will just let the investigation run, and will make a full statement when that has been completed” [Austin Goss, “Attorney General Ravsnborg Breaks Silence,” KSFY, 2020.12.14].

If you can stand it, watch Goss’s three-minute conversation with the worst lawyer in South Dakota here.

Ravnsborg says he is “very humbled by the outpouring of support that they have given me throughout the process.” This alleged “outpouring” of support for bad driving and bad lawyering must come from the same alleged “thousands of calls and emails from concerned citizens” who wanted Ravnsborg to join the seditious lawsuit from Texas seeking to overturn the votes of millions of Americans.


  1. DaveFN 2020-12-15 07:44

    “When we have all the facts…we’ll know the full story…”

    1. When do we ever have all the facts, and when do we have enough facts?

    2. Who is it who best knows the full story…already?

  2. Jenny 2020-12-15 08:13

    Ravnsborg knows, that is why he’s talking. The corrupt one party SD judicial system let him off, I know that smug look when I see one, even in a face as homely as his.

    Barreling down the highway on the shoulder and killing a person is not a crime in SD when you’re an elite member of the corrupt GOP. Just a little distracted driving is all, nothing else. FU SD.

  3. DeeJayBeejr 2020-12-15 08:21

    He killed a man and has no remorse; that should say it all. It doesn’t matter if he did something that rises to the level or not, as a person who kills another is a killer. A decent person would be greatly affected by such an event. A person who thinks the world revolves around him would not be bothered. Now we know into which group AG Roundhead fits.

  4. Jenny 2020-12-15 08:22

    South Dakotans really know how to pick the ugliest and dumbest ever AGs. Ravnsborg’s parents must have been some really ugly hillbillies.

    I’m so lucky to be in MN and to have hardworking and social justice advocate Keith Ellison as our AG, much better looking also.

  5. mike from iowa 2020-12-15 08:25

    Pretty obvious he knows, in advance, his job is safe and so is his wasicu wastey hide. South Dakota gets the polis they deserve, to the detriment of any non-wingnuts in the state.

  6. james 2020-12-15 08:29

    I get it now. I see why Ravnsborg signed on to that Texas election lawsuit.

    He’s enchanted by incoherence.

  7. Jenny 2020-12-15 08:35

    If Ravnsborg had killed one of Noem’s dear daughters he would have immediately been forced resigned and would have been convicted of manslaughter possibly homicide. Noem would have made sure that he get the most severe punishment possible. Noem would then use that as another sob story for her presidential campaign. No good sob story goes unused under Noem.

  8. jerry 2020-12-15 09:19

    Somehow, I don’t think Ravnsborg will get off for this killing. After yesterday, there is a new, confirmed sheriff in town and his name is Joe Biden. This case is high enough of a profile that they will take a look at it, if necessary, especially when there is such a Biden hater as GNOem involved. It may take some time, but it’s possible a United States Attorney, may be prone to look at some things differently. As that is could be the case, South Dakota political attorneys may now understand that the Ravnsborg killing cannot be taken lightly. Justice will be served.

    “If a grand jury refuses to indict, the prosecutor may resubmit evidence to a different grand jury. However, once a grand jury declines to return an indictment on the merits, Department policy requires the approval of the responsible United States Attorney prior to re-submission.”

  9. VicE 2020-12-15 09:45

    “I am not a crook”!

  10. Loren 2020-12-15 09:50

    Interesting comment in the Rapid City Journal today. It asks the question, if roles were reversed, if Mr Boever had left the road while distracted and hit/killed a Mr Ravensborg, would Mr Boever be walking free? How about that hospitality displayed by the local sheriff? So many questions, so few answers.

  11. Eve Fisher 2020-12-15 09:59

    “I believe I have not committed any crime.” I can assure AG Ravensborg that there’s a lot of people in the penitentiary who will tell you the same damn thing. His “Beliefs” have nothing to do with it.

  12. T 2020-12-15 10:12

    I think he owns one tie, one suit.
    What a doofus.
    SD should be ashamed for electing this guy to be the chief prosecutor of our state.

  13. bearcreekbat 2020-12-15 10:18

    Even if the federal Justice Department or U.S. Attorney for South Dakota under the Biden adminstration wanted to prosecute Ravnsborg, it appears there is no federal criminal jurisdiction of this case, hence Biden’s election is likely irrelevant.

    On the other hand, given what little I have found about the background of Emily J. Sovell, the prosecutor that has been assigned by law to decide whether to bring charges against Ravnsborg, I can see no reason to even suspect she is corrupt or will give anyone, including Ravnsborg, a pass from a serious criminal charge based on that person’s political affliation or employment. If her background has been accurately reported by her web site, which would be easily verifiable if false, Ms. Sovell has a much more impressive qualifications than Ravnsborg himself. Objectively she appears highly qualified to make an honest decision.

    . . . she was a member of the South Dakota Law Review and a published case note writer. Emily finished law school as a Sterling Scholar, receiving a Dean’s Certificate recognition for scholastic honors; the Excellence for the Future Award presented by CALI; and West Group’s Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award.

    Immediately following law school, she was selected as a law clerk for the South Dakota Supreme Court. . . . .

    If there is information out there showing Ms. Stovell to be a political tool or hack for the Republican party, or anyone else for that matter, I haven’t seen it yet. I am no fan of Ravnsborg, but I understand that each prosecutor makes his or her own decisions about which cases that merit filing charges and when to file charges when merited. I also know that some prosecutors are indeed political hacks (Bill Barr for example), while others aren’t particularly bright or honest. But in my limited rose colored glasses experience most prosecutors are more likely intelligent, honest and ethical. I have yet to see a reason why Stovell is not in that latter category.

  14. Jenny 2020-12-15 10:39

    Sorry bcb but Sovell’s credentials and educational history doesn’t mean anything in SD, nfortunately. The GOP Boys Club was deeply in love with their ugly AG and have probably sat Sovell down to have one of those talks about how it’s going to be, and I’m serious. The Sheriff will probably get slapped more here than Ravnsborg.
    If Sovell wants a future as a state’s attorney she will play by their rules. That’s just how it goes in a One Party Dirty Rotten State. The SD GOP can go to hell.

  15. mike from iowa 2020-12-15 10:54

    Ms Sowell’s resume includes much work as a court appointed attorney, with cases that shaped her life and POV, which suggests she has a liberal bent (hardcore wingnuts have no compassion for the downtrodden.)

    She has/had a satellite DA’s office in Highmore. I can see where that could be grounds to have her office removed from the case. But, then, I am not a legal beagle so what do I know?

  16. Jenny 2020-12-15 11:02

    To even have had Sovell as the prosecutor when she and Ravnsborg went to school together is a conflict of interest. She should have recused herself. All the attorneys helping her prosecute are all Republican, look them up. Were there any Democtats? You need to climb very high from the stench to be able to breathe freely from the muddy corruption in SD. I don’t think South Dakotans understand how rotten it is, they really don’t. They are very proud of their One Party Regime, they really are.

  17. jerry 2020-12-15 11:21

    My point was that if nothing is done by Sovell and the rest of them on this case, then maybe a case could be bought to bear on a violation of Mr. Boever’s civil rights in federal court. For Sovell and Ravnsborg to have been classmates, certainly could be seen as collusion. mfi says my position on this as well, I’m not a legal beagle either.

  18. bearcreekbat 2020-12-15 11:27

    While I found an online indication that Stovell is indeed a “Republican,” I didn’t find anything about her being in school with Ravnsborg as Jenny reports. Is there a link or other resource available describing this relationship?

    Being registered “Republican” is no particular badge of honor these days, but there are Republicans and there are Republicans – some power hungry, greedy and corrupt, and others that appear to be not so much.

    In my experience, Mark Vargo is an example of an honest Republican prosecutor. I haven’t had any experience with Crystal Johnson and Michael Moore, but I found nothing online to raise any suspicions of bias or favoritism from either one. And a final decision whether to prosecute remains in Stovell’s hands regardless of recomendations one way or the other by these three States Attorneys.

  19. Jenny 2020-12-15 11:33

    Ravnsborg and Sovell went to Law School in Vermillion together, you didn’t know that bcb? Help me out here people.

    Vargo is a Trump supporter from his Twitter feed, enough said.

  20. bearcreekbat 2020-12-15 11:55

    Looking futher it appears Jenny is correct about Stovell and Ravnsborg being in law school together as their bios indicate that each graduated from USD in 2001. I don’t have an indication about their relationship in school if any, but USD Law School is a small school and that suggests they likely knew each other. Beyond that, I can’t say.

    If Vargo supported Trump I wouldn’t be surprised since he is a Republican. Over the years I have not agreed with either Vargo’s politics or several of his prosecution decisions (I thought he was a bit too aggressive), but I simply can’t say he was ever dishonest or under the thumb of anyone, including the Republican power structure. Based on that experience I suspect he would be more likely to recommend manslaughter charges than to recommend letting Ravnsborg walk or filing only minor traffic charges. As for the other prosecutors I have no subjective experience or evidence, only what I could find online, which simply do not raises suspoicions of correcption in my own view.

  21. Jenny 2020-12-15 12:03

    Could that be considered a conflict of interest being in a tiny law school at the same time, bcb? (in the normal scheme of things I would think it would be, but nothing is normal in SD.)

  22. mike from iowa 2020-12-15 12:38

    Interesting ? about conflicts of interest in another high profile case. If memory serves, Janet Reno’s first appointed independent counsel in Whitewater case against Clinton, Robert Fiske, was deemed to be conflicted because he once worked for a timber firm that had done business with Whitewater.

    Starr, on the other hand, a notorious right wing lout who had filed an amicus brief in the Paula Jones case against Clinton, was considered conflict free and replaced Fiske.

  23. mike from iowa 2020-12-15 12:43

    Since it was reported Ravnsborg was distracted while driving, can that be used to claim jury bias before a jury is picked?

    Seeing how poorly justice was served in numerous high profile cases in South Dakota, Mette case, EB-5, Westerhuis murder/suicide, misappropriation of government grants in Westerhuis case and I am sure there asre many more, I do not expect much in the way of competence from state officials.

  24. bearcreekbat 2020-12-15 12:52

    Jenny, I think the conflict issue would depend on the specific nature their relationship. For example, if they were either close friends or mortal enemies, then that would raise all sorts of red flags. But simply because they were two individuals seeking to advance their professional status in the same school at the same time probably creates no conflict of interest.

    Generally I don’t think it is the best idea for a prosecutor to become involved in a prosecution decision affecting an acquaintance, but legal rules on conflict in interest would not require the recusal of a prosecutor based on being in law school together unless there was something more to the relationship. In a State as small as South Dakota, the Attorney General would have a conflict prosecuting any classmate or professional associate if that were a enough for a conflict. Indeed, it would seem to be impossible to find any Republican or Democratic lawyer in the State that did not have some sort of professional relationship with Ravnsborg and the office of Attorney General.

  25. bearcreekbat 2020-12-15 12:58

    mfi, any potential juror summoned if Ravnborg is prosecuted will definitely be asked about his or her exposure to media stories about this case and whether he or she has formed an opinion of gulit or innocence based on such reports.

  26. Mark Anderson 2020-12-15 14:11

    South Dakota deserves an AG who can’t tell the difference between a human being and a deer. He couldn’t tell the difference between a water and a beer in Redfield either.

  27. jerry 2020-12-15 14:37

    Was Jenny present at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield?

  28. Francis Schaffer 2020-12-15 17:45

    ‘I believe I have not committed any crimes’. He really said that. Wow i wonder if that really works? What came to my mind was a person accused of shooting an eagle or hawk or something for which a valid license is required. ‘I don’t believe I’ve committed any crime as it flew into my bullet’s path’. Of course Joe Boever is getting much less consideration than protected animal – in my opinion.

  29. M 2020-12-15 18:14

    Can members of the Boever family file charges against Ravnsborg?

  30. jerry 2020-12-15 19:15

    Was Ms. Emily Stovell present in Redfield for that dinner. I incorrectly wrote “Jenny” and I apologize for that.

  31. Sioux Falls resident 2020-12-15 19:35

    Does anyone know if he’s incel, too?

  32. mike from iowa 2020-12-15 20:00

    M, there is likely to be a civil suit of some ype for wrongful death. You’d need to hear from an actual attorney about that.

  33. Sioux Falls resident 2020-12-15 20:14

    Forgot to define the term for those unfamiliar: abbreviated term for the compound ‘Involuntary Celibate’. In Darwinian terms a person deemed ‘least fit to reproduce’, manifested in social terms as someone unable to copulate due to the absence of even a single willing partner.

  34. DaveFN 2020-12-15 21:44

    With all due respect to Joe Boever’s family, relation and friends, I can’t but help think this has been extremely difficult for Atty General Ravnsborg to live with.

    His responses to Austin show, as far as I’m concerned, Ravnsborg in a double bind, one poised between the law seeking to figure out how or if he might be exonerated somehow, while subordinating him at the same time to the ignomy of functioning in an official capacity with a millstone hanging around his head.

    This being the case, he is compromised, and if I can presume on what is best for his own sake as well as ours, he might best resign.

  35. leslie 2021-01-11 12:31

    Crystal Johnson, the Minnehaha County state’s attorney who is assisting Sovell, said in an email to The Associated Press that she did not have a time frame for the results of additional testing on an “(unusual) item of debris that was in the middle of the accident scene.” She said it could give information on where Ravnsborg’s car was when it struck 55-year-old Joseph Boever, a Hyde County resident. 12.28.20 “Tulsa Times”

    Waiting four months. Kristi’s “slow roll”.

  36. bearcreekbat 2021-01-19 19:19

    Its been a while but today (Jan. 19, 2021) the Rapid City Journal had a story about a crash on the Interstate that injured several people and caused the interstate to close for a few hours, but luckily no one was actually killed. This part of the report struck me as significant:

    Four drivers were taken to the Sturgis hospital and charges are pending against the semi driver, according to Tony Mangan, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

    The crash was caused by a Freightliner semi driver heading east on I-90 and occurred while the semi was in the left lane at mile marker 30 at 1:43 p.m.

    A Department of Transportation snowplow was ahead of the Freightliner while a Peterbilt semi was in the right-hand lane. Both semis were pulling trailers.

    The driver of the Freightliner did not slow down so he hit the snowplow and crashed into a guard rail before going into a ditch, Mangan said. The Peterbilt then jackknifed, blocking both eastbound lanes.

    The Highway Patrol believes the Freightliner failed to slow down because he wasn’t paying enough attention. (Italics and bolding added)

    Does anyone else see a troubling contrast between the treatment of this distracted truck driver and South Dakota’s distracted Attorney General who killed someone?

  37. Cathy 2021-01-20 01:28

    @bearcreekbat….yes, the contrast you mentioned bugs the hell outta me. It’s been 139 days since Ravnsborg struck and killed Joe Boever. Bill Janklow was arrested, tried, and convicted in less time.

  38. leslie 2021-01-30 09:03

    No wonder our AG was distracted. The Hyde/Sully county law enforcement nepotistic, adulterous, wife murdering soap opera since 1989 that Tom Lawrence writes of in Dakota Standard 1.30.21 is bizarre. No surprise small Republican counties like Custer county have solicited guns in shuttered courtrooms too. Explains the vehement racism that Custer memorialized in writing to government naming boards when Black Elk Peak was christened. Yuk.

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