Prosecutors say South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has accepted a plea deal for hitting and killing a pedestrian walking along a rural highway in the east-central part of the state last fall, but there are no details yet.
Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore told The Associated Press “there won’t be a trial and there will be a plea entered” Thursday when Ravnsborg is scheduled for a bench trial on 3 misdemeanor charges in the death of 55-year old Joe Boever of Highmore.
One of 2 prosecutors in the case, Moore said a judge’s order barring state officials from disclosing details of the investigation also prevented him from disclosing further details of the plea agreement.
Ravnsborg initially told authorities he thought he hit a deer while driving home to Pierre after a Republican fundraiser late on September 12th, and that he searched the area for some time using a cellphone flashlight without finding anything. He discovered Boever’s body the next morning after returning to the scene
Crash investigators said in November that Ravnsborg was distracted when he veered onto the shoulder of the highway where Boever was walking. But prosecutors took months more to make a charging decision in the crash. Boever’s widow has indicated she plans to file a wrongful death suit against Ravnsborg.
Gov Kristi Noem called on Ravnsborg to resign in February after the investigation concluded, but Ravnsborg resisted those calls, saying he was still capable of fulfilling the duties of his office and asking that he be given due process under the law.
The Legislature, dominated by Ravnsborg’s fellow Republicans, took the first steps in the impeachment process but decided to wait and not take any action until the criminal case had run its course.
Ravnsborg is up for reelection next year, but hasn’t said if he’ll run again. Former attorney general Marty Jacklin, who ran for governor instead of reelection in 2018, has already filed to win back his old job.