Man accused of mowing down ‘Republican’ teenager appears in court

The North Dakota man accused of mowing down a teenager over a “political dispute” asked the judge not to keep him on bail and said he didn’t want his job, home or family over the hefty sum to lose.

Shannon Brandt, 41, was released Tuesday on $50,000 bail after being charged with vehicular murder and leaving the scene in connection with the death of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.

During a court hearing on Monday, Brandt said he didn’t understand the charges against him – and declined bail because he wasn’t a flight risk.

“I’ve got a job, a life and a house and things that I don’t necessarily want to lose — a family that’s very important to me,” he said, according to Fox News Digital.

Brandt was arrested Sunday morning after calling 911 to report he had hit a pedestrian who he claimed threatened him.

Brandt explained that the pedestrian “called some people and Brandt was afraid they would come get him,” the affidavit said. “Brandt admitted to State Radio that he punched the pedestrian and that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group.”

Cayler Ellingson, 18, was hit by Brandt's car early Sunday in McHenry, North Dakota after he called his mother to say someone was after him.
Cayler Ellingson, 18, was hit by Brandt’s car early Sunday in McHenry, North Dakota after he called his mother to say someone was after him.

First responders who arrived at the scene in an alleyway near Johnson Street and Jones Avenue in McHenry found Ellingson, who was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Responding MPs then tracked Brandt to his home in Glenfield, which is about 12 minutes from the crash site.

The 41-year-old allegedly admitted to drinking alcohol before hitting Ellingson and initially leaving the scene of the accident.

Brandt said he later returned to call 911 but got away again before police arrived.

A breathalyser test revealed Brandt’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit of 0.08.

According to court documents, Ellingson called his mother before he was hit and asked her if she knew who Brandt was. She said yes and told her son she was on her way to pick him up.

A short time later, Ellingson called his mother again to say that “he” or “she” was stalking him. That was the last time she heard from the 18-year-old.

A family friend, who started a GoFundMe campaign to help Ellingson’s parents, Sheri and Cole Ellingson, with his funeral expenses, described the 18-year-old as a “wonderful young man” who “has his whole adult life ahead of him “.

“So far removed from himself and his family,” Nicole Clifton Geiszler wrote in an update. “You must now endure a path that no parent would want, no parent should have to endure. He still had to look forward to his innocent life and live for it. His parents will never see their young son go to college, get married, or have grandchildren.”

Brandt is currently out on bail. He has yet to file a plea and is scheduled to appear back in court on October 11. Man accused of mowing down ‘Republican’ teenager appears in court


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