AP report on slain North Dakota teen omits alleged assailant thought victim was ‘Republican extremist’

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An Associated Press report on the murder of a North Dakota teen by a drunk 41-year-old man over a “political argument” declined to note that the alleged attacker allegedly believed the victim was part of a “Republican extremist group” .

Wednesday’s report from The Associated Press stated: “A driver accused of fatally beating a teenager in North Dakota is alleged to have told investigators he deliberately hit the teen with his SUV after they had a political argument, according to court officials. documents.”

Fox News Digital reported, “Court documents said he told a 911 dispatcher that the teen was part of a Republican ‘extremist group’ and called on people to go after him after an unspecified political argument.”


An Associated Press report on a North Dakota man who hit a teen over a political argument omitted the alleged killer, claiming the teen was part of a “Republican extremist group,” according to court documents.
(Foster County Sheriff, Facebook)

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The AP reported: “Cayler Ellingson, 18, was beaten and killed after a street dance in McHenry early Sunday. The driver accused of hitting Ellingson in an alley, Shannon Brandt, 41, is charged with manslaughter in Foster County and the leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.”

The driver was reportedly drunk, as a breath analysis showed his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.

The AP report noted that Brandt “placed $50,000 bail on Tuesday and was released. His attorney did not immediately answer a call for comment.” In more detail, the report said, “Brandt told investigators he left the crime scene after beating Ellingson, returned briefly, called 911, and then left, according to an affidavit with probable cause.”

The report also noted that a “GoFundMe for Ellingson raised more than $27,000 Thursday morning,” but did not mention political details referenced in court documents.

Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, who helped investigate the death, said Brandt’s allegation about the political argument has not been substantiated because the investigation is still ongoing and more witnesses need to be interviewed. details of the alleged argument were not released,” the AP report said, again without specifying the specifics of the “political argument claim.”

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A North Dakota man is accused of running over a teenager he claimed belonged to a… "Republican extremist group" after she got a "political argument."

A North Dakota man is accused of running over a teenager he believes belonged to a “Republican extremist group” after they had a “political argument.”

The AP omitted the details behind Brandt’s motivations, which he explained to first responders Sunday morning, according to other reports. He claimed he felt threatened after he and Ellingson got into a political altercation.

“He stated that the pedestrian had called some people and that Brandt was afraid they would come for 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,” Fox News Digital reported.


The text of the court document stated: “Brandt admitted to hitting the pedestrian with his car because he had a political altercation with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling people to come and get him.”

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Fox News Digital contacted The Associated Press for comment.

Portion of affidavit for probable cause for Shannon Brandt's arrest on September 18, 2002, noting that Brandt claimed the teenager he allegedly killed was part of a "Republican extremist group."

Portion of the affidavit for the probable cause of Shannon Brandt’s arrest on September 18, 2002, which notes that Brandt claimed the teenager he allegedly killed was part of a “Republican extremist group.”
(Foster County State’s Attorney’s Office)

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