The court documents state that the incident was not accidental but apparently motivated by politics.
A vehicle-pedestrian fatality occurred Saturday, September 18, in McHenry, North Dakota — roughly 52 miles north of Jamestown and 120 miles northwest of Fargo.
Prosecutors say Cayler Ellingson, 18, called his mother moments before he was killed. They claim this was because 41-year-old Shannon Brandt were chasing him in McHenry, the city where the street dance had just ended.
1 of your supporters plotted & deliberately slaughtered an 18 yr old young man named CAYLER ELLINGSON w/ his car & claimed he did this in support of your political cause.. TONITE the parents are HEARTBROKEN because their beautiful boy is laying in a morgue.He bonded out at $50K.
— Phillip Uptain (@PhillipUptain) September 21, 2022
Brandt called 911 early Sunday morning and claimed he’d just struck Ellingson. He alleged that the teenager was a member of a Republican extremist group and was calling people to come get him after an argument. Court documents state that Brandt was officially charged with vehicular manslaughter on Monday; Ellingson had already passed away by the time his mother could arrive at the scene.
Just before the car crash, Ellingson’s mother confirmed that he called her. He asked if she knew Brandt, but she believes that he didn’t know him. Niewind added that they are still trying to determine what happened prior to the fatal collision; additionally, police state that Brandt was drunk when he fatally struck Ellingson with his SUV in a narrow alleyway.
Niewind said that despite their efforts, they haven’t spoken to any witnesses to the accident. They are still seeking potential witnesses of the street dance who were present before the crash happened.
Brandt claimed he wasn’t a flight risk and objected to the judge’s order for him to stay in jail on $50,000.
Brandt told the judge that he had important family members he didn’t want to lose. Because of this, he didn’t want to see his life crumble if he was convicted of vehicular homicide due to a previous DUI. He added that he owned a house, worked at a job and had a full life.
Additional charges may be suggested as the investigation continues. Currently, the most severe punishment for the crime is 20 years.