Political quarrel preceding hit-and-run, driver says

Political quarrel preceding hit-and-run, driver says


According to court records, the motorist accused of fatally striking a teenager in North Dakota reportedly admitted to hitting the boy on purpose with his SUV after the two of them argued about politics.

Following a street dance, Cayler Ellingson, 18, was hit and murdered in McHenry early on Sunday. Shannon Brandt, 41, the motorist suspected of running into Ellingson in an alley, is charged in Foster County with vehicular murder and fleeing the scene of a fatal accident.

Brandt was freed from custody on Tuesday after posting a $50,000 bail, according to Stutsman County jail records, where he was being kept. A call to his lawyer for comment was not immediately returned.

According to a probable cause document, Brandt told investigators he left the area after hitting Ellingson, came back for a short while, phoned 911, and then departed once again.

According to the court record, Brandt admitted to drinking before hitting Ellingson and said he believed the adolescent was summoning individuals to attack him as a result of their argument and that he felt intimidated. Ellingson was taken by ambulance to a Carrington hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

Later on Sunday, investigators detained Brandt at his Glenfield residence. According to officials, he gave his assent to a chemical breath test, which revealed that his blood alcohol concentration was higher than the legal driving limit of 0.08%.

The assertion made by Brandt in his political argument has not been proven, according to Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, who assisted in the investigation into the tragedy. This is because the inquiry is still continuing and additional witnesses need to be questioned. The specifics of the purported disagreement have not been made public.

The affidavit said that Ellingson’s parents eventually admitted to police that they knew Brandt but did not think their son did. When Ellingson contacted her at about 2:40 a.m. and inquired as to whether she knew Brandt, she was en route to pick him up from McHenry, according to Ellingson’s mother. A short while later, Ellingson phoned again and said “that ‘he’ or ‘they’ were pursuing him.” After then, she was unable to contact him, according to the affidavit.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol first reported that a Ford Explorer hit a person who “received major injuries” before passing away.

As of Thursday morning, a GoFundMe for Ellingson had amassed more than $27,000.

Ellingson “passed to paradise and will be mourned by his Mom, Dad, Brother, Uncles, Aunts, numerous Family and Friends,” the website reads.


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