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Who was Shannon Brandt? Driver admitted to intentionally killing teen

BY Anas Shah Sep 26, 2022. 02:51 pm UPDATED: Sep 26, 2022. 02:51 pm

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Apparently a politically motivated attack, it was not an accident, according to court documents.

The deadly car-pedestrian collision occurred early on September 18 near McHenry, North Dakota, which is located about 54 miles north of Jamestown and 120 miles northwest of Fargo.

The street dance had barely finished in the city of McHenry when Cayler Ellingson, age 18, allegedly contacted his mother to come rescue him because Shannon Brandt, age 41, was pursuing him.

Her son had already passed away by the time she arrived.

On Monday, Brandt was formally charged with vehicular murder and fleeing the scene of a fatal collision.

According to Captain Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, “He was the one who contacted 911 to report the crash.”

According to court documents, Brandt called 911 about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday and reported that he had just hit Ellingson. He also claimed that the teen was a member of a Republican extremist group and had called for help following a political fight.

Ellingson’s mother claimed to have received a call from her son inquiring if she knew Brandt shortly prior to the collision, which she does. She disputes her son’s claim that he knew him.

“We are still trying to determine what, exactly, transpired at the time of crash and prior to that as well,” explained Niewind.

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Police say Brandt was drunk when he hit and killed Ellingson with his SUV.

“We do not know of any witnesses. We are still making attempts to interview potential witnesses from the street dance, people that were present prior to the crash happening,” Niewind said.

A judge ordered Brandt held on $50,000, which he objected, saying he’s not 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.

Due to a prior DUI, Brandt would be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison if found guilty of the vehicular murder allegation.

20 years is the maximum sentence for the crime.

According to troopers, they may suggest more serious charges as the investigation progresses.

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