Man Who Ran Over Conservative Teenager Charged With Murder, Arrested

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 30USshare
Man Who Ran Over Conservative Teenager Charged With Murder, Arrested
Shannon Brandt in a mugshot. (Stutsman County via The Epoch Times)

The North Dakota man who admitted to striking a teenager with his car has been charged with murder and taken back into custody, about a week after posting bail.

Shannon Brandt was charged with murder with a dangerous weapon and duty in an accident involving death or injury, both felonies, according to court documents obtained by The Epoch Times.

Brandt “intentionally or knowingly caused the death of another human being … under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster said in charging documents.

Brandt could now receive life in prison without parole. Before, he only faced 25 years in prison, and he was able to post a $50,000 bond.

An arrest warrant was issued by District Judge James Hovey, who set the bond, on Sept. 29. Brandt was booked back into the Stutsman County Correctional Center on Sept. 30, according to the inmate roster. The bond is listed as $1 million.

Hovey also dismissed the previous charges filed against Brandt, at the request of Brinster.

An attorney representing Brandt declined to comment, telling The Epoch Times in an email to “check back in a few weeks.”

Brandt struck teenager Caylor Ellingson on Sept. 18 in McHenry. He admitted to targeting Ellingson, claiming the teenager was part of a “Republican extremist group,” according to court documents obtained by The Epoch Times. Authorities have said no evidence supports the claim.

Brandt left the scene and was located at his home in Glenfield, state trooper Christopher Allen said in a declaration to the court. Brandt acknowledged striking a person and consuming alcohol that night. He still smelled of alcohol when found, which was hours after the collision.

Ellingson was declared dead at the Carrington Hospital shortly after arriving there.

NTD Photo
Cayler Ellingson in a file image. (Cayler Ellingson/GoFundMe)

‘Am I Going to Go to Prison?’

Brandt called 911 after hitting Ellingson and said that the incident was intentional and not an accident, Jeramie Quam, an agent with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation said in one of the newly filed documents supporting the upgraded charges.

“I tried to take off. 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 this is why I’m calling you,” Brandt told the 911 dispatcher. “I mean I almost, oh God, I almost just runaway [sic] but I thought ‘jeez, obviously if it was a total accident I wouldn’t be scared but I know it was more than that.”

Brandt claimed that the teenager made calls to other people and Brandt was worried those people were on their way to the scene. Ellingson said in one call something to the effect of that person would have to come to the scene and handle him, according to Brandt. The defendant also said Ellingson would not let him leave.

Investigating authorities found that the only calls Ellingson received and placed during the relevant time were to his mother, Sheri Ellingson, and his father, Cole Ellingson.

An autopsy conducted on Ellingson indicated that the teenager was on the ground when he received the injuries that killed him.

Dr. Kevin Maley, who conducted the autopsy, “indicated this means the injuries weren’t caused from being struck by Shannon Brandt’s vehicle and were caused by being run over,” Quam wrote.

Ellingson’s Parents

Authorities spoke with Ellingson’s parents, who said they received a call from their son at 2:27 a.m. on the day in question. Ellingson told his mother that Shannon Brandt had asked who his parents were. When Ellingson disclosed their names, Brandt said that he knew who they were.

Sheri Ellingson said that her son asked her if he should contact his “cousins or posse,” according to Quam. She didn’t know if her son was being threatened. She told her son not to contact others and that she would come to pick him up.

At 2:41 a.m., Sheri Ellingson and Cole Ellingson both missed calls from their son. At 2:42 a.m., Sheri Ellingson picked up a call from her son, who said that they are after me or he is after me. The call dropped. It was the last time she spoke to her son.

Sheri Ellingson has not responded to a request for comment.

From The Epoch Times