Prosecutors waiting on debris testing in AG crash
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A team of prosecutors is waiting for testing results on a piece of debris that may indicate where the South Dakota attorney general’s car was when he struck and killed a man over three months ago, a prosecutor said Monday.
A decision on whether to charge Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg in the Sept. 12 crash has been delayed for months, prompting criticism from Gov. Kristi Noem. The Department of Public Safety, which oversaw the investigation, has reported it handed over all its findings to prosecutors, led by Hyde County deputy state’s attorney Emily Sovell.
But 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.
Sovell did not immediately reply to a request for comment and has not spoken publicly about the case.
Secretary of Public Safety Craig Price, who led the crash investigation, has said Ravnsborg was distracted before he drove onto the shoulder of a darkened stretch of highway, but has not provided details on what the distraction was. Boever was walking on the side of the road and displaying some type of light when Ravnsborg’s 2011 Ford Taurus hit him, according to Price.
The attorney general has said he’s confident that he did not commit a crime in the crash on a rural highway as he was returning home from a Republican fundraiser. In a 911 call immediately following, Ravnsborg expressed confusion, saying he had hit “something” that was “in the middle of the road.” He later told a dispatcher that it could have been a deer.
Ravnsborg has said he only realized he hit a man when he returned to the accident scene the next day and found Boever’s body. The attorney general has stayed on the job, but his office was not involved in the crash investigation.