by Trevor Schakohl
A North Dakota man arrested for running over a teenager he purportedly believed to be a Republican extremist was charged with murder Friday.
Shannon Brandt admitted to hitting Cayler Ellingson with his vehicle Sept. 18 and left the scene before returning, calling 911 and leaving again, according to a police affidavit. Brandt was subsequently charged with felony criminal vehicular homicide involving a motor vehicle and duty in accident involving death, but Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster replaced the first charge with the more severe felony charge of murder.
The charges against Shannon Brandt, who made national headlines after claiming he ran over Cayler Ellingson after a political dispute, have been upgraded to a Murder charge and another class B felony. pic.twitter.com/LnStnYi9Ai
— Rob Port (@robport) September 30, 2022
Brandt spoke during a phone call with police about the incident being intentional and was “visibly intoxicated” at his house before police arrived, according to a Thursday affidavit. Brandt claimed Ellingson was “part of a Republican extremist group” and had called people Brant was scared “were coming to get him,” an earlier affidavit said.
Former President Donald Trump mentioned Ellingson’s death at a Sept. 23 rally in North Carolina, saying, “This guy ran him down and not one mainstream media network has even mentioned this horrible crime,” according to Fox News. North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind told the outlet “no evidence” indicated Ellingson belonged to a “Republican extremist group.”
Brandt’s attorney did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Trevor Schakohl is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Background Photo “Courtroom” by Clyde Robinson. CC BY 2.0.