Attorney General's Plea Deal Upsets Victim's Family

Jason Ravnsborg is fined $1K in the death of a man who was hit while walking along a highway
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2021 4:37 PM CDT
Attorney General Fined in Death of Pedestrian
Jane Boever holds a photo of the tombstone of her brother, Joseph Boever, outside the courthouse in Fort Pierre, S.D., on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

South Dakota's attorney general was convicted of two misdemeanors Thursday in the death of a man struck by a vehicle while walking along a rural highway one night last fall. Jason Ravnsborg also was fined $1K on Thursday under the terms of his plea deal, the Argus Leader reports. Ravnsborg, a Republican, pleaded no contest to driving outside his lane and driving while using an electronic device. The family of Joseph Boever, 55, was not pleased. "We are not satisfied with the outcome," Jane Boever, the victim's sister, told the Fort Pierre court. "I am against the fact that he is not to get jail time at all," said Jenny Boever, the victim's wife. "I understand that, ma’am," Judge John Brown replied.

"It isn't a homicide case," the attorney general's lawyer said. "That's what the mix-up here is with the family. They think it's a homicide case." It was just an accident, he said, adding, "What happened out there that night could have happened to anybody." The attorney general told investigators he thought he'd hit a deer, per the Hill, though Boever's eyeglasses were later found in Ravnsborg's car. At the family's request, the judge ordered the defendant to perform a "significant public service event" for the next five years around the anniversary of Boever's death. The victim's wife described her despair to the court. "We were building our lives together," she said, "and now we will never have that." (Investigators had said Ravnsborg was distracted while at the wheel.)

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