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South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg is branded a 'coward' by family of man he struck and killed

The South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is a ‘coward’, according to the cousin of the man he killed with his car last week.

Ravnsborg, 44, hit and killed Joe Boever, 55, last week while driving on a rural road near Highmore, South Dakota, a small town with a population of 1,500 people located 50 miles east of Pierre.

The AG told a 911 operator he thought he hit a deer or large animal while traveling back to his home in Pierre after attending a fundraising event more than 100 miles away.

Joe Boever’s cousin Victor Nemec told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview, ‘Jason Ravnsborg is a coward for how he’s acted since killing my cousin. I think his first reaction to the situation was how to save his own a**. Instead of telling us what really happened. He needed to do the right thing even if it’s going to hurt his career.

‘I believe this state is going to try to cover this up as much as possible.’

Ravnsborg (pictured) mowed down 55-year-old Joe Boever with his car near Highmore on Saturday night

Ravnsborg called 911 to report that he'd hit a deer. Pictured: Boever

Ravnsborg (left) hit and killed 55-year-old Joe Boever (right) with his car near Highmore last week and called 911 to report that he’d hit a deer

DailyMailTV spoke with Boever's family who called Ravnsborg a 'coward' who is trying to 'save his own a**. Pictured are Boever's cousins nick and Victor Nemec

DailyMailTV spoke with Boever’s family who called Ravnsborg a ‘coward’ who is trying to ‘save his own a**. Pictured are Boever’s cousins nick and Victor Nemec 

Boever's body was not found until the next morning. His family believe the state is being 'tight-lipped' in the investigation. Pictured is the crash site

Boever’s body was not found until the next morning. His family believe the state is being ‘tight-lipped’ in the investigation. Pictured is the crash site 

Victor, 58, a farmer who lives in nearby Holabird, South Dakota, was the last person to see his cousin alive, he told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview. 

‘Last Saturday at 7.49pm to be exact, I was at my brother’s house and I had received a call from my cousin Joe. He told me he had accidentally driven his pickup in a ditch and slammed it into a big round bale of hay. And needed me to come get him and give him a ride home,’ he said. 

Joe told Victor he crashed his truck into the ditch because he was trying to pick up his tobacco that had fallen on the floor while he was driving and wasn’t paying attention to the road.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg reported hitting a deer, when it was actually Boever

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg reported hitting a deer, when it was actually Boever 

Victor said it was getting dark and they were planning on picking up the truck in the morning. Victor said he was a little concerned about Joe’s blood sugar level because he had recently been diagnosed with diabetes. 

‘He was acting a little sluggish,’ he said 

Victor said after they arrived back at Joe’s house around 8.30pm he suggested he check his blood sugar level. He did, and they were in the normal range. 

Victor said he was still a little concerned about Joe, but knowing that Joe’s pickup was incapacitated and more than a mile away he wasn’t too concerned about him driving. Joe had told Victor he was just going to go to bed and they were going to see each other the following morning.

Victor has no idea why Joe left his house after he had left him for the night. He thinks that Joe may have forgotten something from his truck and went out to retrieve it when he was killed.

The following morning Victor said he called Joe several times on his cell phone and there was no answer so he drove to his house and no one was home. Victor said he let himself inside of Joe’s house and checked every room. 

‘Joe’s had a problem with alcohol in the past so I checked all of the trash cans for signs of alcohol but couldn’t find any empty containers,’ he said. 

Victor said he was starting to get worried about Joe, because on the way to Joe’s house he saw a highway patrolman on the road next to where his pickup truck was in the ditch and several other emergency vehicles with their lights on.

Victor, while still at Joe’s house, decided to call the Hyde County Sheriff Volek. ‘I asked him whatever is happening on the highway does that have anything to do with my cousin Joe,’ he said. 

The sheriff told him to wait at his cousin’s house and they’ll send someone by to talk to him.

Three hours later and no one had showed up to the house so Victor decided to go back to his house. 

Nick Nemec is pictured surveying the ares of the 14 Highway in Highmore, South Dakota, where their cousin was struck and killed

Nick Nemec is pictured surveying the ares of the 14 Highway in Highmore, South Dakota, where their cousin was struck and killed 

Boever's truck is pictured after he was struck. He had crashed his truck and was walking back to it at night to retrieve it when he was struck

Boever’s truck is pictured after he was struck. He had crashed his truck and was walking back to it at night to retrieve it when he was struck 

Joe Boever's cousin Victor (left) told DailyMailTV, 'I believe this state is going to try to cover this up as much as possible'

Nick Nemec

Joe Boever’s cousin Victor (left) told DailyMailTV, ‘I believe this state is going to try to cover this up as much as possible’ 

Tire tracks are visible on the side of the highway on Monday, September 14, where Boever's truck sat Saturday night when he was killed while walking back to the vehicle

Tire tracks are visible on the side of the highway on Monday, September 14, where Boever’s truck sat Saturday night when he was killed while walking back to the vehicle 

When he got home around 4.30pm, he turned on the TV and the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem was holding a press conference where she announced the Attorney General was involved in a fatal car crash.

Minutes later Ravnsborg’s officer released a statement that said, ‘I am shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Governor Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and I fully intend to continue do so moving forward. At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.’

After watching the press conference, Victor called his brother Nick, a local farmer who also lives in the area and expressed his fears that their cousin may be the person involved in the accident with the AG.

Later that night around 7.30pm, an investigator called Victor and asked him if he could go to a funeral home in Highmore to identify Boever’s body. Victor and his brother, Nick went to the funeral home.

The Nemecs said when they arrived at the funeral home there wasn’t anyone around. They waited for about 10 minutes before the funeral director driving a hearse, pulled into the parking lot followed by a patrol car.

The funeral director pulled her vehicle into the garage and pulled out a body bag from the hearse.

The funeral director unzipped the body bag just enough to expose the face of the individual. Both Victor and his brother confirmed that it was their cousin Joe.

‘I was sickened when I first saw my cousin in the body bag, we only saw his face. His face was bruised and scraped up, we saw it from the side. His head was misshaped like he suffered from some great trauma,’ said Victor.

As previously reported, AG Jason Ravnsborg released a statement just days after the crash, ‘I didn’t see what I hit and stopped my vehicle immediately to investigate,’ he wrote, adding that he pulled out the flashlight on his cell phone and all he could see were pieces of his car strewn across the roadway.

Investigation marks left on the road, skid marks, dried blood patch's and pieces of plastic debris are seen at the crash site

Investigation marks left on the road, skid marks, dried blood patch’s and pieces of plastic debris are seen at the crash site 

Pieces of plastic debris are seen at the crash site where Boever was killed last week

Pieces of plastic debris are seen at the crash site where Boever was killed last week 

Boever told Victor he crashed his truck into the ditch because he was trying to pick up his tobacco that had fallen on the floor while he was driving and wasn't paying attention to the road

Boever told Victor he crashed his truck into the ditch because he was trying to pick up his tobacco that had fallen on the floor while he was driving and wasn’t paying attention to the road

Nick Nemec uses a tape measure to show the 2ft distance from the tarmac where Boevers body was found

Nick Nemec uses a tape measure to show the 2ft distance from the tarmac where Boevers body was found

After he called 911, Sheriff Volek arrived at the scene to assess the damage to Ravnsborg’s car and search for what he had hit.

‘At no time did either of us suspect that I had been involved in an accident with a person,’ Ravnsborg wrote.

Because Ravnsborg’s car was too damaged to drive and a tow truck would take over an hour to arrive, Volek offered to let the attorney general take his personal car back to Pierre.

The following morning Ravnsborg and his chief of staff made the trip back to Highmore to return Volek’s vehicle.

The pair stopped at the crash site on their way and discovered a man’s body in the grass near the roadway.

‘My chief of staff and I checked and it was apparent that Mr. Boever was deceased,’ Ravnsborg wrote.

‘I immediately drove to Sheriff Volek’s home to report the discovery and he accompanied me back to the scene.

‘Once there, the sheriff instructed me that he would handle the investigation, and asked me to return to Pierre.’

Ravnsborg is pictured (circle)  at the Rooster's Bar and Grill  at the Spink County Republican Party's event just before the fateful crash

Ravnsborg is pictured (circle)  at the Rooster’s Bar and Grill  at the Spink County Republican Party’s event just before the fateful crash 

The Ford Taurus that Ravnsborg was driving the night he killed Boever had a huge hole in the windshield of the passenger's side (pictured)

The Ford Taurus that Ravnsborg was driving the night he killed Boever had a huge hole in the windshield of the passenger’s side (pictured)

Documents reveal Ravnsborg had received eight speeding tickets, six between 2014 and 2018 in South Dakota, and two in Iowa

Documents reveal Ravnsborg had received eight speeding tickets, six between 2014 and 2018 in South Dakota, and two in Iowa 

Joe Boever's estranged wife, Jennifer Boever, 54, exclusively told DailyMailTV, 'I married Joe in almost three years ago, all relationships have their ups and downs. We were estranged and living apart at the time of his death, but we were planning on getting back together. He was the love of my life'

Joe Boever’s estranged wife, Jennifer Boever, 54, exclusively told DailyMailTV, ‘I married Joe in almost three years ago, all relationships have their ups and downs. We were estranged and living apart at the time of his death, but we were planning on getting back together. He was the love of my life’

Ravnsborg has a history of speeding tickets and traffic violations.

Documents reveal Ravnsborg has received eight speeding tickets, six between 2014 and 2018 in South Dakota, and two in Iowa

He also has received two violations, including one for not wearing a seat belt and another for driving without a proper exhaust and muffler system

Each offense took place in a different county and included speeding on a state highway and speeding on a four-lane road in a rural area.

In one instance, he was driving 85mph on a highway in which the speed limit is 65mph, documents obtained by the Argus Leader reveal.

He pleaded guilty to all six offenses and paid fines ranging between $19 and $79, and had to pay between $66 and $68 in court costs.

Additionally, Ravnsborg has shared photos while behind the wheel, including one in October 2019.

‘As many of you know I spend many hours behind the wheel traveling our great state, so I thought I would show you some of my great views and take more pictures of South Dakota as I travel,’ he wrote.

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is leading the investigation with the help of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Ravnsborg is reportedly ‘fully cooperating’ with the investigation by providing a blood sample, submitting to interviews with authorities and agreeing to a search of his phones.

Joe Boever’s wife, Jennifer Boever, 54, exclusively told DailyMailTV, ‘I married Joe in almost three years ago, all relationships have their ups and downs. We were estranged and living apart at the time of his death, but we were planning on getting back together. He was the love of my life.’

Ravnsborg has posted multiple pictures or grabs from dash cam video on Facebook of roads where it is clear he is behind the wheel including this photo from October 2019

Ravnsborg has posted multiple pictures or grabs from dash cam video on Facebook of roads where it is clear he is behind the wheel including this photo from October 2019

Pictured is Boevers house in Highmore, South Dakota. His estranged wife is still waiting for an apology from Ravnsborg but isn't holding her breath

Pictured is Boevers house in Highmore, South Dakota. His estranged wife is still waiting for an apology from Ravnsborg but isn’t holding her breath

Jennifer says she doesn’t believe that Ravnsborg couldn’t see her husband’s body after he hit him, ‘My husband is 6 feet tall and weighs almost 190 lbs. I find it hard to believe they couldn’t find him on the side of the road.’

She is still waiting for an apology from Ravnsborg but isn’t holding her breath.

But if he does call, she’s going to tell him, ‘you’ve taken a son, a husband, a brother, an uncle. You’ve taken all of this and politely just kind of swept it under the rug.’

With tears in her eyes she recalls the type of man she married, ‘he was a quiet, decent, loving man. He was private. He kept to himself.

‘I just want Joe to get the justice he deserves.’

Instead of moving back into together Jenny is busy planning a private funeral for Joe taking place sometime in the near future.

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