UPDATED 12:26 PM PT –Thursday, September 22, 2022
A North Dakota man has admitted to intentionally killing a teenager following a political dispute. 41-year-old Shannon Brandt told investigators that he killed 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson this week after purposely running him over with his car.
According to documents, Ellingson called his mom prior to being hit. He reached out to her again once he realized that Brandt was chasing him. His mother, who was aware of who Brandt was, told him that she was on her way to pick him up.
Brandt claimed that Ellingson was a part of a Republican extremist group and that he threatened him. According to Brandt, he thought that the teen was on the phone calling people for backup.
Brandt initially fled the crash site but he later returned to call 911 to report that he had struck a pedestrian who he claimed was threatening him. He reportedly took off again before the police arrived. He was tracked down and found at his home that was located 12 minutes away from the scene. Brandt was under the influence of alcohol when he reported the incident. A breathalyzer test determined that his blood-alcohol content was above the North Dakota legal limit.
The 41-year-old was charged with vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a deadly incident. His bail was set at $50,000. He was released on Tuesday.