Charging decision on South Dakota AG expected Thursday


RAPID CITY (AP) – A prosecutor has decided whether to file criminal charges against the state attorney general for hitting and killing a pedestrian with his car, another prosecutor helping with the case said Wednesday.

Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo, who helped evaluate the case, said Hyde County State's Attorney Emily Sovell will announce Thursday whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should face court proceedings for the Sept. 12 death of 55-year-old Joe Boever. Vargo said he does not know Sovell's plans, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Representatives for Gov. Kristi Noem and the Department of Public Safety said they were not aware of the upcoming announcement.

Public safety officials have said Ravnsborg was distracted before he drove onto a highway shoulder where he struck Boever, but they have not said what led Ravnsborg to become distracted.

Ravnsborg called 911 that night and told a dispatcher that he hit “something” and that “it was in the middle of the road.” When the dispatcher asked if it could have been a deer, Ravnsborg initially said, “I have no idea” before adding, “It could be.”

The attorney general has said he is confident he did not commit a crime. The attorneys deciding whether to charge Ravnsborg have taken months to further assess the crash.

Sovell did not immediately respond to an email request seeking comment.

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