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Jason Ravnsborg. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg on Thursday was charged with three misdemeanors for hitting and killing a 55-year-old man with his car last year, AP reports.

Why it matters: Ravnsborg, who has a history of speeding and traffic violations, was able to avoid more serious felony charges and instead faces charges for careless driving, driving out of his lane and operating a motor vehicle while on his phone.

  • Ravnsborg could face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine on each charge, according to AP.

Details: Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell said the evidence could not support charges of vehicular homicide or manslaughter. For there to be a manslaughter charge, the state needed to demonstrate how Ravnsborg dismissed substantial risk.

Context: Ravnsborg was driving home alone from a dinner event in September when he became distracted, driving off the highway and striking Joseph Boever, according to investigators.

  • On Thursday, investigators added that they did not find any evidence that suggested Ravnsborg was driving under the influence.
  • Ravnsborg initially told law enforcement that he thought he hit a deer and did not notice until the next day that he had hit a man.

What he's saying: "I appreciate, more than ever, that the presumption of innocence placed within our legal system continues to work," Ravnsborg said in a statement.

  • He added that he could not imagine the "pain and loss" that the victim's family were going through.

The other side: Boever's family said they were disappointed to find out that the attorney general was only facing misdemeanor charges.

  • "I am disappointed but I’m not surprised," Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec told The Daily Beast. "I knew this was going to happen because I have researched state law."

What to watch: Boever’s widow, Jenny Boever, plans to file a civil lawsuit against Ravnsborg, The Daily Beast reports.

Go deeper

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.

Updated 32 mins ago - Health

Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hawaii became on Thursday the fifth state to confirm the newly discovered Omicron variant after New York announced five new cases earlier in the day.

The latest: In Hawaii, the variant was found in an unvaccinated O'ahu resident with moderate symptoms who had previously been infected with COVID-19, per a state health department statement. The variant has also been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Senate Dems receive max donations from Nord Stream 2 lobbyist

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A major Democratic donor and Nord Stream 2 lobbyist has made maximum campaign contributions this year to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and vulnerable Senate Democrats, campaign finance records show.

Why it matters: If pressure from the White House to vote against reimposing sanctions on the Russia-backed natural gas pipeline weren't enough, Democrats who back such legislation also will be at loggerheads with one of their party's top fundraisers.