Authorities in North Dakota have laid a murder charge against 41-year-old Shannon Brandt for running down and killing Cayler Ellingson, an 18-year-old, in a “political dispute.”
Earlier this month, Brandt alleged that he ran down Ellingson because he was a “Republican extremist.” Police investigators found no evidence to back up Brandt’s claims.
As reported by Rebel News, Brandt was arrested in the early hours of September 18 after police say he fatally drove down the teenager with his SUV following a street dance in McHenry, North Dakota. Police say the suspect was drunk and fled the scene, and reportedly called a 911 operator to tell them that the teenager was part of a “Republican extremist group” who tried to “get him.”
“I just wanna ask you a question, am I going to prison?” Brandt asked the 911 operator, per the police affidavit filed on Friday. Brandt indicated on the call that the incident was intentional.
Brandt was initially charged with vehicular homicide and released days later after posting a $50,000 bail.
On Friday, Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster announced a new charge against Brandt following an investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Foster County Sheriff’s Department.
The affidavit revealed new details about the deadly incident.
Ellingson’s mother said that on the night he was killed, her son said he was being harassed and that “maybe he should call his cousins or posse.” She didn’t know if he felt threatened but told him she was on his way. His final call, placed at 2:42 a.m., had the teenager telling his mother “something to the effect of they are after me or he is after me” before it was promptly cut off.
In Brandt’s ensuing call with the 911 operator, he first claimed that Ellingson had prevented him from leaving the area.
“He wasn’t going to let me go, I hit him. I didn’t mean to and and he’s subdued,” Brandt said, per the affidavit.“I was scared to death but he’s subdued, he can’t do anything to me now so, so this is why I’m calling you.”
“I mean I…I almost oh god, I almost just runaway but I thought jeez obviously if it was a total accident I wouldn’t be scared but I know it was more than that,” Brandt said.