Judge Orders Mental Health Records Release To Ravnsborg Defense Team


    The judge overseeing the criminal trial of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg in the late night death last September of a pedestrian is ordering medical providers to turn over their health and mental health records of the victim.

     Ravnsborg’s defense asked for the records to explore the theory that 55-year old Joe Boever of Highmore may have intentionally allowed himself to be hit by Ravnsborg’s car to commit suicide. They cited a relative who said Boever was depressed.

      Judge John Brown granted the request this week and issued letters to several hospitals and clinics, ordering them to provide records about Boever’s psychiatric state. 

    Ravnsborg is charged with three misdemeanor charges of careless driving, use of an electronic device while driving and illegal lane change. His trial is scheduled for next month.

     Prosecutors say Ravnsborg was distracted while driving on a highway near Highmore, drifted onto the shoulder, and hit Boever – who was walking on the shoulder with a flashlight.

      Ravnsborg says he thought he hit a deer, but investigators found Boever’s glasses on the passenger seat of the car. The body wasn’t found until the next morning.

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