Decision on Ravnsborg criminal charges to be announced Thursday

PIERRE, S.D. — Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo said Wednesday that an announcement in the Ravnsborg investigation will be made tomorrow.

The Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney, Emily Sovell, will announce her decision Thursday morning on whether she will file criminal charges against State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

Sovell will make her announcement at 1:30 p.m. in Pierre; Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore will also make a statement at that time.

Vargo said that he was an advisor during the investigation and gave his opinion to Sovell.

In a statement to NewsCenter1, Vargo wrote, “I believe that she took [my opinion] into consideration in forming her decision and that she had an exemplary investigation on which to make her decision.”

Investigators said previously that Ravnsborg was distracted on Sept. 12 when he drove onto the shoulder of Highway 14 near Highmore, striking and killing 55-year-old Joe Boever.

Ravnsborg said at first he thought he’d hit an animal, but found Boever’s body the next day when he returned to the scene. In a statement released after the crash, Ravnsborg stated that at no point did he or Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek, who responded to the scene, believe that the collision was with a person.

Attorneys have taken months to decide whether to file criminal charges, an issue that has prompted reaction from Gov. Kristi Noem. Back in December, Noem said that prosecutors “should have decided by now” whether to file charges. In January, she stated that it is “a great disservice to the victim’s family,” in regard to how long the investigation was taking.

Ravnsborg says he’s confident he did not commit a crime.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News