The North Dakota man accused of killing a teenage boy with his car following a “political argument” said he didn’t understand the charges against him during a recent court appearance.
Shannon Brandt, 41, spent just days in a Stutsman County Jail on criminal charges related to the death of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson before he posted his $50,000 bond and was released, according to county jail records.
He is charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.
“I don’t understand the differences,” he told a judge during a Monday court hearing before he was released, according to video footage from a local news outlet.
Brandt objected to the bail amount, saying he was not a flight risk.
NORTH DAKOTA MAN KILLS TEEN WITH VEHICLE AFTER POLITICAL DISPUTE, CLAIMS VICTIM WAS REPUBLICAN ‘EXTREMIST’
“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.
Brandt was arrested Sunday morning after telling first responders he struck the teen because the pedestrian was threatening him,” according to a probable-cause affidavit provided to Fox News Digital on Wednesday morning.
He “stated that the pedestrian called some people and Brandt was afraid they were coming to get him,” the document continues. “Brandt admitted to State Radio that he hit the pedestrian and that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group.”
North Dakota Highway Patrol on Sunday reported that there was a “street dance” on Jones Street near Hohneck Street in McHenry when Brandt struck Ellingson and then fled the scene.
Ellingson was rushed to a local hospital with serious injuries where he died. Brandt’s and Ellingson’s families both showed up at the scene shortly after police arrived, court records show.
Ellingson’s parents said they knew Brandt but don’t believe the teen did. His mother described how she was on her way to pick up her son from McHenry when he called her and said “that ‘he’ or ‘they’ were chasing him.” She could no longer reach him after that.
“Brandt admitted to striking the pedestrian with his car because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling people to come get him,” the court document continues. “Brandt admitted to leaving the scene of the incident and returning shortly after where he called 911.”
A breathalyzer test later showed that Brandt’s blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit of 0.08.
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