Ravnsborg was wrong, but in eyes of his friends in South Dakota law enforcement, only slightly. Ravnsborg’s USD Law School classmate and Hyde County deputy state’s attorney Emily Sovell today announced she’s charging Ravnsborg with three crimes… not one of which is based on the fact that he killed a man:
Ravnsborg will face charges for operating a vehicle while using his cellphone, failure to keep his car in its travel lane, and careless driving. Each is a class 2 misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
…At a Thursday’s news conference, Sovell, who was joined by Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore said she found that Ravnsborg’s conduct did not meet the high threshold to charge him with a felony, either vehicular homicide or second-degree manslaughter [Christopher Vondracek and Jeremy Fugleberg, “South Dakota’s Attorney General Charged in Crash That Killed Pedestrian,” Dickinson Press, 2021.02.18].
Vondracek and Fugleberg report that Jenny Boever, Joe’s widow, has enlisted prominent Sioux Falls lawyer Scott Heidepriem to sue Ravnsborg’s sorry ass. But watch out: Ravnsborg, who remains free and at large, suggests that the terrible ordeal he has suffered has made him a better lawyer:
I appreciate, more than ever, that the presumption of innocence placed within our legal system continues to work. I have always practiced this in my professional life and I understand it even better now as I see that we live in a society where every person enjoys the protection of the law [Jason Ravnsborg, statement to press, quoted in “South Dakota AG Ravnsborg Charged with Careless Driving in Fatal Crash,” KSFY, 2021.02.18].
Good grief: even Bill Janklow, a much more effective politician and lawyer than Jason Ravnsborg ever could have been, got a felony conviction and a hundred days in jail and lost his job and his law license (for a little while) when he killed a man by driving like an idiot. The family of the man Janklow killed also got a one-million-dollar settlement (paid for by the taxpayers).
I yield the floor to the universal disgust that should drive this killer from public office.