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ND Investigator: Long, Slow Stop Suggest Ravnsborg Knew He’d Hit a Man, Considered Fleeing the Scene

At 14:07 Central today, the prosecution rested its case in the Senate impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. With Ravnsborg seated there in the Senate chamber, available to testify if he wanted (and given unlimited time to do so by Senate impeachment trial rules), defense attorney Michael Butler said, “We have no witnesses to present, so we rest.”

Prosecution witness and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Arnie Rummel, supervisor of the Ravnsborg criminal investigation, make a point that hadn’t stood out to me in this case yet. Rummel noted that, immediately after his fatal crash, according to phone GPS data, Ravnsborg slowed his car from the 68 mile-per-hour impact speed to 11 miles per hour. Then, for seven seconds, Ravnsborg continued to roll forward, slowing from 11 mph to 7 mph. Two seconds after that, Ravnsborg finally stopped, with his left wheels, according to the crash reconstruction based on his photo of the car and evidence from the scene, back across the fog line, off the shoulder, in the driving lane.

Ravnsborg-Boever crash reconstruction photo, composite created from Ravnsborg photo and law enforcement photos, showing Ravnsborg would have parked damaged vehicle not at the far edge of the road, entirely off the shoulder, but with left wheels back in the driving lane.
Ravnsborg-Boever crash reconstruction photo, composite created from Ravnsborg photo and law enforcement photos, showing Ravnsborg would have parked damaged vehicle not at the far edge of the road, entirely off the shoulder, but with left wheels back in the driving lane.

Why did co-prosecutor Mark Vargo have Rummel raise this point? Rummel contends that this long, strange deceleration suggests that Ravnsborg knew full well that he had hit and likely killed a man. He saw Boever’s face crash through his windshield. As he finished braking, he considered feeling the scene. Only after those few seconds of a rolling stop did he decide to actually stop.

Rummel noted that parking back on the roadway was also strange behavior. There was plenty of room for Ravnsborg to drive his entire car within the shoulder, as the crash reconstruction shows he did. In those last moments before stopping, Ravnsborg appears to have moved his car back to the left, back out into the land of traffic.

Was he still thinking about fleeing, then just stopped before compounding his crime? Or was he looking to create the impression that he’d been further out toward the driving lane when he hit Boever?

Vargo did not lead Rummel farther down that path. Butler properly questioned how GPS data prove anything about Ravnsborg’s state of mind.

When the Senate returns from its recess this afternoon, Senate President Larry Rhoden will read questions from Senators. Prosecution and defense will each then get one hour for closing arguments. If Senators have a lot of questions, the trial could extend into tomorrow (and Senate trial rules require that the day’s session end at 8 p.m. Central). However, if Senators are already satisfied with what they’ve heard, we could have a vote on impeachment before supper.

20 Comments

  1. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-06-21 16:09

    This is truly nauseating, heartbreaking, and infuriating, but means NOTHING if SD Senate Reptilians continue to engage in their usual circle jerk.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-06-21 17:10

    The testimony is intriguing. Ravnsborg is going down.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-06-21 17:16

    Sen. Wheeler, an attorney believes Ravnsborg committed felony manslaughter.

  4. 96Tears 2022-06-21 17:18

    Do they ALL have to talk?

  5. 96Tears 2022-06-21 17:24

    Twenty-four votes to impeach. That’s all? Once again, the Democrats provided the margin of victory. Nine no votes from Republicans, the party that has a problem with the rule of law.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-21 17:24

    Senate has voted 24–9 to convict Ravnsborg on Article 1 and remove him from office. Discussion on Article 2 still pending.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-21 17:26

    And that 24 came with Democratic Senator Red Dawn Foster MIA, not in the Senate, not voting.

  8. grudznick 2022-06-21 17:43

    Mr. Evans, as most know, grudznick is a very empathic fellow and I’d like to buy you a nice breakfast in Spearfish at some point to help salve the sadness and madness I know is urgling down inside your belly.

  9. Bob Newland 2022-06-21 17:46

    The circlejerk resulted in jizz all over the worthless turd Ravnborg.

    Amazing! I’ll venture not many folks expected this.

  10. Mark Anderson 2022-06-21 17:49

    Maybe he thought he hit a shaman? Sorry it’s hard to take this lying pos and his
    Wessington Springs follower seriously. He’s getting away with murder. The poor boy.

  11. grudznick 2022-06-21 18:29

    I wonder if there are any journalists, like Mr. Goss, who are going to go to Mr. Ravnsborg’s house and interview him tonight with dumb questions like “what does it feel like?” or “did you think it would be that close?”

    I bet you Mr. PP gets the first exclusive interview with Mr. Ravnsborg, whose name could not once be pronounced correctly by his own defense attorney. grudznick knew he was in trouble right then. I was always warned, “when your own lawyer doesn’t know your name, you’re in a lot of trouble, grudz.”

  12. P. Aitch 2022-06-21 18:59

    grudznick has been “groomnig” Kurt Evans like a priest grooms a choir boy.

  13. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-06-21 19:12

    I agree with you, Bob Newland.

  14. Bob Newland 2022-06-21 19:43

    I was thinking what grudznutz expressed. “How much faith should I have in my lawyer, who pronounces my name like a fifth-grader would, after trying to sound it out. Did he not ever listen to me tell him how to say it?”

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-21 19:53

    PP and the SDGOP spin blog will not seek or print any interview with Jason Ravnsborg, or conduct any original journalism on the impeachment. PP will now happily turn to promoting the Noem/Jackley ticket and work hard to scrub Ravnsborg from our memory.

  16. grudznick 2022-06-21 20:19

    You just wonder if right now Mr. Ravnsborg is sitting at home with his feet up on an inherited black Naugahyde footstool, his dress socks still on, no dress shirt but yet sporting his sleeveless cotton undershirt, dry now from the sweaty day in the legislatures. An iced tea in his left hand, reading the bloggings here and elsewhere with his phone in his right.

    Mr. Ravnsborg, if you are out there, finish your interview with Mr. PP and then come here and debate yourself instead of through Mr. Evans, who is heartbroken.

  17. Kurt Evans 2022-06-21 20:20

    “grudznick” writes:

    Mr. Evans, as most know, grudznick is a very empathic fellow and I’d like to buy you a nice breakfast in Spearfish at some point to help salve the sadness and madness I know is urgling down inside your belly.

    I’m obviously disappointed in our state senators, but I’m not sad, mad, or even surprised. As I’d already said publicly, they made Lee Schoenbeck their leader, so I wasn’t expecting them to act rationally.

    The worst thing happening in South Dakota politics isn’t DPS secretary Craig Price using false accusations to destroy Jason Ravnsborg’s reputation, or even Marty Jackley pulling us back toward an attorney general’s office that runs cover for Price and other corrupt law enforcement agents.

    The worst thing happening in South Dakota politics is Governor Noem misrepresenting Jesus Christ and misleading His followers, and I believe she should resign.

    https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2018/05/23/ex-dci-agent-marty-jackley-spar-over-facts-1-5-m-payout/637995002/

    “Think”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPD7OJ7NhvU

  18. grudznick 2022-06-21 20:32

    I’m as leery of your blue links, Mr. Evans, as I am of my good friend Lar’s. Maybe moreso, as Lar doesn’t talk about overgodding stuff.

  19. Mike Livingston 2022-06-21 22:00

    Hindsight is how the gop views the present. We da Law n oder partay.

  20. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-21 23:00

    Well…Ravensborg is a tragic figure in some ways…and obviously he doesn’t have many loyal friends. He worked hard enough for his Party to go from dark horse candidate to the Attorney General’s office with no trial lawyer qualification…somebody liked him then. After the fatal “accident” the State’s Attorneys of several counties and a judge covering Hyde County found no evidence to even bring a Manslaughter charge, and totally ignored his behaviors during the investigation. He plea bargained to two traffic misdemeanors.The court system in Hyde County respected him enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. In his truncated impeachment, where he offered no real defense he relied on what he must have determined was weak and fragmentary evidence submitted by his Senate prosecutors in this political trial. Hubris, which translated from the Greek, mean “when men think they are Gods.”Two highly respected Senators, with experience as judges, voted against the charge that the killing of Joe Boever was not due to his negligence. They agreed with the Hyde County judge. Seven Republican friends and cohorts in the world of politics agreed with the two former judges. A couple more votes and he walks on, though his behavior after the killing would have cast a long shadow. God only knows how he would have acted had he prevailed in the political trial.In my mind, it was not an accident, but one of those horrible random events, brought about by his inattention, that can change every man’s life. In his reaction to the event, the tragic death of Joe Boever, he committed a political felony. He is now alone, living with the consequences.

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