Early Sunday morning, 41-year-old Shannon Brandt allegedly ran over 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson with his car following a political dispute in McHenry, North Dakota.
After being charged on Monday with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a deadly accident, Brandt admitted that his actions were politically motivated.
According to InForum, Ellingson had been participating in a street dance Saturday night, and when it wrapped up, he noticed that Brandt was following him.
Ellingson called his mother to ask for help, but it was too late. Moments later, Brandt slammed into him with his car in an alleyway, killing the teen.
Brandt later called police himself to report the incident. As InForum reports, he claimed that Ellingson had been part of a “Republican extremist group,” and had ordered others to come after him following a political argument.
According to police, Brandt was drunk at the time, however aside from that, very little is known about what transpired.
“We do not know of any witnesses,” North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Bryan Niewind said. “We are still making attempts to interview potential witnesses from the street dance, people that were present prior to the crash happening.”
Brandt, who Ellingson’s mother knew, was ordered to be held on $50,000 bail, however, he declined, citing his job, family, and house as reasons why he should not be considered a flight risk.
As it stands, Brandt could face a minimum of ten years in prison, with a maximum of twenty, however, if more serious charges are laid against him, his sentence could be much longer.
Following the incident, a GoFundMe was set up by a family friend of the Ellingsons to help pay for funeral expenses. At the time of writing it has raised nearly $4,000.
“Cayler has went to heaven and will be missed by his Mom, Dad, Brother, Uncles, Aunts, cousins many Family and Friends,” the statement reads.