Man released on $50k bond after admitting he killed ‘Republican’ teen over politics

Shannon Joseph Brandt (right) was released on bond after admitting to killing Cayler Ellingson (left). GoFundMe/police mugshot

Kate Feldman

New York Daily News

A North Dakota man who hit and killed a teenager with a car told police the pair had gotten in a “political argument” before the incident.

Shannon Joseph Brandt, 41, has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving a death for allegedly killing 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.

Brandt told police that Ellingson was “part of a Republican extremist group” and that the teen had threatened to call people after their argument around 3 a.m. Sunday, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Law & Crime Wednesday.

By the time police responded to Brandt’s 911 call, he had allegedly left the scene.

Ellingson was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

“A thing no parent should ever have to endure in their life is to lose a child,” reads a GoFundMe started by an Ellingson family friend to help with funeral expenses. “Cayler has went to heaven and will be missed by his mom, dad, brother, uncles, aunts, cousins, many family and friends.”

Police tracked Brandt down at his house, where he was tested with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08.

Brandt has since been released on a $50,000 bail, an amount he objected to because he said he was not a flight risk.

“I have a job, a life and a house and things that I don’t exactly want to see go by the wayside — family that are very important to me,” he said Monday in court, according to Fox News.

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