By Caroline Downey, National Review
A suspect who admitted to a “politically motivated” fatal car attack on a Republican teen in North Dakota over the weekend was released on bail Wednesday afternoon.
Shannon Brandt, a 41-year-old male accused of running over 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson with his car after the pair had an altercation of a political nature at a street festival, posted bond and has returned to the streets, the local jail told the Post Millenial.
He was charged on Monday with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly accident, the publication originally reported. Since he was let go, Brandt appears to have started removing certain content from his social media, the Post Millenial observed.
Brandt started chasing Ellingson in the city of McHenry, prosecutors allege, at which point the boy called his mom for help. Before she could arrive, Brant barreled into him with his car in an alleyway, killing the teen.
The driver reported the crime himself, informing police that the victim was affiliated with a “Republican extremist group” and intended to target him after the two had a political disagreement. “He was the one who called 911 to report the crash,” North Dakota Highway Patrol captain Bryan Niewind said, according to InForum. Brandt was intoxicated at the time of the incident, police said. The court papers indicate that Brandt thought Ellison was calling for backup to go after him rather than ask to be rescued.
“We do not know of any witnesses,” Niewind added. “We are still making attempts to interview potential witnesses from the street dance, people that were present prior to the crash happening.”
Ellison’s mother said she knew of Brandt but was not aware of any connection between him and her son.
“We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well,” Niewind said.
A judge set Brandt’s bail at $50,000, which he objected to on the grounds that his job, family, and other obligations mean he wouldn’t be a flight risk.
“I have a job, a life and a house and things I don’t want to see go by the wayside — family that are very important to me,” Brandt told the judge, according to InForum.
Read more at National Review.
Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 22, 2022