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Victim Wanted to Die, South Dakota AG Claims

Jason Ravnsborg's defense says the man he struck and killed was suicidal
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2021 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jason Ravnsborg is really looking for an out. The South Dakota attorney general who struck and killed Joe Boever with his car back in September of 2020 is now claiming the victim wanted to die. Boever, whose glasses were found inside Ravnsborg’s car and whose lit flashlight was found off the road and near his body, had recently started taking a prescription anti-anxiety medicine, Keloland reports. Ravnsborg’s defense team filed a court document requesting the victim’s psychiatric records. That document quotes Boever’s cousin Barnabas Nemec saying he believes Boever threw himself in front of the car on purpose.

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The filing claims that Boever was working his way through a bottle of Lorazepam faster than prescribed, and that the common medicine can cause suicidal ideation. It also says evidence points to Boever walking in the road instead of the shoulder. That’s a take that another cousin, Nick Nemec, disputes, the Daily Beast reports. “Joe was on the shoulder of the road,” he said, “So, that, I would think, would indicate he wasn’t out trying to jump in front of a car.” He also said that he’d seen no indication that Boever was suicidal. Prosecutors say Ravnsborg had been using his phone while driving shortly before the accident, per the Argus Leader. (Read more Jason Ravnsborg stories.)

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