Justice Coming: Man Who Ran Down Republican In North Dakota Charged With Murder

By Jean Robor | Monday, 03 October 2022 16:30
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A politically-charged killing led to a murder charge against 41-year-old Shannon Brandt in the small town of McHenry, North Dakota, with a population of 64.

The Daily Wire reported Brandt was arrested following a street dance on September 18 after fatally striking 19-year-old Cayler Ellingson with his SUV, according to police. A drunken Brandt fled the scene and called a 911 dispatcher, asking for an ambulance and saying Ellingson was part of a “Republican extremist group” and tried to “get him.”.

The Daily Wire reported that according to a probable cause affidavit, Brandt asked the dispatcher, “I just want to ask you a question; am I going to prison?” He also indicated he intended to murder Ellingson.

According to the Daily Wire, the affidavit confirmed Brandt said on the call, “He wasn’t going to let me go; I hit him. I didn’t mean to, and he’s subdued. 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.”

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Just after 2:30 AM, Sheri Ellingson received a call from her son. She told him she would come to pick him up after he said someone was chasing him after the dance just before the call dropped.

The police told her Brandt’s SUV had struck her son in an alleyway. She told the police she did not think her son knew his attacker.

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Initially, Brandt was found at his home, visibly intoxicated, and was charged with vehicular homicide. The charge was dropped, and a new charge of murder with a dangerous weapon, a felony, was announced Friday, resulting from a collaborative investigation between the Foster County Sheriff’s Department, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Brandt also faces a charge for leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

According to the Washington Post, the small-town murder made national headlines, and conservatives commented on Brandt’s alleged motive on social media. Investigators confirmed the case was not political, and there is no evidence supporting Ellingson was a Republican extremist.

If convicted, Brandt could face the maximum sentence of life in prison.

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