The 41-year-old man who allegedly admitted to murdering a Republican teenager over politics has posted a $50,000 bond and been released from jail.
Shannon Brandt only spent a few days in a Stutsman County Jail after he was charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash involving a death after he allegedly struck and killed Cayler Ellingson on Sunday in McHenry, North Dakota, a small town two hours northwest of Fargo. He posted bond on Tuesday.
Citing court documents, outlet WDAY reported that Brandt told police that he had killed the teen after they had an argument over politics. Brandt, whom police say was drunk, claimed Ellingson was part of a “Republican extremist group” and was urging others to attack Brandt after a political argument.
“He was the one who called 911 to report the crash,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind. Brandt called 911 around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and told a dispatcher he had run down Ellingson.
“Brandt admitted to striking the pedestrian with his car because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling people to come get him,” court documents state. “Brandt admitted to leaving the scene of the incident and returning shortly after where he called 911.”
Prosecutors allege Ellingson called his mother only moments before he was killed, telling her that Brandt was chasing him after an event, which was described as a street dance. By the time she arrived at the scene, her son was dead in an alleyway. Ellingson’s mother told police that she knew Brandt but does not believe her son did.
“We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well,” Niewind said. “We do not know of any witnesses. We are still making attempts to interview potential witnesses from the street dance, people that were present prior to the crash happening.”
The attack comes a matter of weeks after President Joe Biden declared that “MAGA Republicans,” or people who support former President Donald Trump, represent a “threat to this country” and “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
“An 18 y/o conservative is murdered by 41 year old leftist & the media is totally silent,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr. “No connection to Joe Biden and his insane speech of just 2 weeks ago… it’s as though it never happened & doesn’t matter. Of course Trump would not get that benefit b/c our media is broken!”
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