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Minnehaha County prosecutor not part of Ravnsborg probe

January 23, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The new Minnehaha County state attorney says his office will no longer be assisting the investigation into a fatal crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

In a statement to the Argus Leader, Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Daniel Haggar said his office has not been involved in the case since his term started earlier this month and he is focused on cases in the county.

Haggar’s predecessor, Crystal Johnson, had been assisting Hyde County prosecutors in evaluating evidence and determining whether charges should be brought against Ravnsborg, who struck and killed Jason Boever on Sept. 12 while Boever was walking along the shoulder of Highway 14 west of Highmore.

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Ravnsborg was returning to Pierre from a Republican fundraising dinner at the time. His car was too damaged to drive so Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek, who responded to the accident after Ravnsborg called 911, loaned Ravnsborg a personal vehicle.

Ravnsborg says he assumed he hit a deer, but that he discovered Boever’s body the next morning when he returned to the scene. Ravnsborg has said he did not commit a crime.

Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo and Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore are still assisting with the investigation.

Moore said Friday that it’s not unusual for accident investigations like this to take up to a year to complete. Prosecutors are still waiting for results of biological evidence and cell phone data.

Ravnsborg could face charges only if he acted recklessly or with intent, Moore said.