Ravnsborg not expected to testify in his impeachment trial

June 2, 2022 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is not expected to take the stand for his impeachment trial, not is anyone else for the defense.

Defense attorneys did not turn in a list of witnesses as required by rules for the June 20-21 trial over Ravnsborg’s actions surrounding a 2020 fatal car crash, the Argus Leader reported.

The parameters set by the Senate in April required both defense attorney Mike Butler and prosecutor Mark Vargo to submit the list by Wednesday. Butler will present his case through cross examination of the prosecution evidence, oral argument and perhaps some exhibits.

Ravnsborg, a Republican, was impeached by the House over the crash in which he killed a pedestrian but initially said he may have struck a deer or other large animal. Ravnsborg is the first official to be impeached in South Dakota.

Vargo, the Pennington County State’s Attorney, plans to call to the stand crash investigators, three of whom from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, as well as former South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation agents who worked under Ravnsborg.

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The trial format allows both the impeachment prosecutors and Ravnsborg’s defense attorney one hour for an opening statement, four hours to present evidence and one hour to close their arguments. Senators may take more time to ask additional questions and debate the articles of impeachment.

Ravnsborg last year pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors. The 45-year-old Republican, who took office in 2019, struck and killed Joseph Boever, who was walking along a rural highway.