Shannon Brandt, 41, told troopers he felt threatened and “admitted to hitting the pedestrian with his car because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling for people to come get him,” according to a probable cause document. the court
Brandt — who was also charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash — left the area after the collision, then returned and called 911 before leaving again, according to court documents and the highway patrol.
Brandt told a 911 dispatcher that the victim was “part of a Republican extremist group,” according to court documents. Authorities did not provide further details of Brandt’s claims or the specifics of the alleged argument.
Brandt was later arrested at his home. A breath test at the Stutsman County Jail registered 0.08, above the legal alcohol limit, the probable cause document says.
Ellingson’s mother told investigators the teenager called her shortly before the incident to ask if the family knew Brandt. Her son called a short time later to say she was being followed, according to the probable cause document. The mother could not reach her son after that.
After being hit by the vehicle, Ellingson was taken to Carrington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to highway officials, the incident happened around a “street dance”. It is unclear whether Brandt or Ellingson was participating in the event.
Brandt was released Tuesday on a $50,000 bond, according to Stutsman County Jail records. He has not yet entered a plea and is due in court on October 11. Court records did not list an attorney for Brandt Wednesday, and he did not return CNN’s phone and email messages seeking comment.