By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 27, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Gov. Kristi Noem would support using a grand jury to decide whether charges should be filed against South Dakota’s attorney general, who struck and killed a man along a highway in September.

Noem has been critical of the fact no decision has been made by prosecutors about whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should face criminal charges in the Sept. 12 collision that took the life of 55-year-old Joseph Boever along Highway 14 west of Highmore.

“Gov. Noem would absolutely support empaneling a grand jury if it can help bring a speedy resolution to this case,” Noem spokesman Ian Fury said in an email Tuesday to The Associated Press. “As the governor has repeatedly said, it is a grave disservice to Mr. Boever’s family that this issue has not been resolved.”

Prosecutors can use grand juries to file charges. The juries determine whether there is enough probable cause to indict a person.

Ravnsborg was returning to Pierre from a Republican fundraising dinner at the time. His car was too damaged to drive, so Hyde County Sheriff Mike Volek, who responded after Ravnsborg called 911, loaned Ravnsborg a personal vehicle.

Ravnsborg said he assumed he hit a deer, but that he discovered Boever’s body the next morning when he returned to the scene. Ravnsborg has said he didn’t commit a crime. He hasn’t commented on how the case is being investigated.

The decision on charges is in the hands of Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell, who is also consulting with Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore and Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo.

Moore said prosecutors are still awaiting cellphone data and biological evidence.

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