Man Who Killed Conservative Teenager Sentenced To Five Years

The North Dakota man convicted of killing an 18-year-old with his car was sentenced Friday to five years in state prison. Shannon Brandt had expressed concern that the victim was part of a “Republican extremist” group.

How many Jan. 6 protesters did not harm a soul and face much longer sentences for merely demonstrating at the Capitol?

The incident that claimed the life of Cayler Ellingson unfolded at a street dance on Sept. 18, 2022 in McHenry, North Dakota. Brandt claimed that Ellingson was “threatening” him and said something about “some Republican extremist group.”

Brandt then ran over Ellingson with his 2003 Ford Explorer. He initially left the scene before he returned and called 911. Ellingson died later at the hospital.

The suspect was initially charged with criminal vehicular manslaughter before the charges were upgraded to murder. However, they were lowered to manslaughter and Brandt then pleaded guilty on May 18.

Foster County State Attorney Kara Brinster said Brandt was drinking and arguing with the young man. Initial reports suggested there was a political disagreement, but investigators later backpedaled from that narrative.

The Associated Press reported that Brandt faced a maximum of ten years in prison on the manslaughter charge. Media reports said Ellingson’s mother, Sheri, asked that the judge render the most stringent sentence possible in the case.

However, Brandt was credited with a year already served under house arrest. He will have three years of supervised probation and lose his license for a year.

For running over and killing a teenager after drinking.

Fox News reported that Sheri Ellingson told Brandt in court that he “took a piece of our family that is not replaceable. When you chose to take Cayler’s life and happiness, you took ours too. You have caused our family endless pain, heartache, sleepless nights.”

Foster County Judge Bradley Cruff reviewed Brandt’s diagnosis of autism during Friday’s sentencing. Experts said this led to an exaggerated response, though the judge chastised the defendant for his actions.

Cruff told Brandt that he “recklessly pushed Cayler to the ground with your SUV, you recklessly ran over him and you recklessly killed him.”

Before being sentenced, Brandt told the court that he took responsibility for the tragedy and he was “very sorry.”