Shannon Brandt intends to 'fully defend' himself against murder charge in Cayler Ellingson's death: lawyer

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Shannon Brandt intends to “fully defend” himself against the murder charge he is facing in relation to the death of Cayler Ellingson.

Brandt, 41, was arrested after police say he used his SUV to fatally hit Cayler Ellingson, 18, during the early morning hours of Sept. 18 after a street dance at a local bar in McHenry, North Dakota.

Brandt made his initial court appearance on Thursday.

After appearing in court, Mark Friese, Brandt’s attorney, told Fox News Digital that Brandt is intending to “fully defend” himself from the allegations.

“We have requested discovery and background information from the prosecutor.  That process was set back a little bit due to the dismissal of the initial charges,” Friese said. “Once we receive and review discovery, I may be able to tell you more.  For now, I can tell you it is Mr. Brandt’s intention to fully defend against the allegations pending in the open case file.”

SHANNON BRANDT TO APPEAR IN COURT AFTER ALLEGEDLY MURDERING 18-YEAR-OLD CAYLER ELLINGSON

Shannon Brandt, the man who is accused of fatally hitting Cayler Ellingson with an SUV, has been charged with murder in the death of the 18-year-old, and new information alleges that the teenager was run over by an SUV.

Shannon Brandt, the man who is accused of fatally hitting Cayler Ellingson with an SUV, has been charged with murder in the death of the 18-year-old, and new information alleges that the teenager was run over by an SUV.
(Stutsman County Correction Center/Facebook)

Prosecutors allege that Brandt left the scene and told a 911 operator that Ellingson was part of a “Republican extremist group,” adding that he was calling others to come “get him.”

North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind told Fox News Digital earlier that there was “no evidence” suggesting that the teenager was part of a “Republican extremist group” or that the incident was politically driven.

Brandt is being charged with murder and duty in an accident involving death.

Brandt was initially charged with criminal vehicular homicide, but that charge was upgraded to murder. 

Before being charged with murder, Brandt was released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond on Sept. 20. Court documents show that he wasn’t placed on curfew or house arrest as a condition of his release.

He turned himself into jail on Sept. 30 after being charged with murder. He is being held on a $1 million bond.

SHANNON BRANDT CHARGED WITH MURDER IN DEATH OF CAYLER ELLINGSON, WHO WAS ALLEGEDLY ‘RAN OVER’ BY SUV

Shannon Brandt, 41, is charged in the vehicular death of a North Dakota teenage boy he claimed occurred after a political argument. 

Shannon Brandt, 41, is charged in the vehicular death of a North Dakota teenage boy he claimed occurred after a political argument. 
(Foster County Sheriff)

Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster said the charge of criminal vehicular homicide was dismissed because of the new murder charge.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Brandt asked the 911 operator if he was going to prison shortly after he allegedly killed Ellingson.

“I just wanna ask you a question, am I going to prison?,” Brandt asked, according to court documents.

CAYLER ELLINGSON’S ALLEGED KILLER NOT UNDER HOUSE ARREST, NO CURFEW AFTER POSTING ‘VERY LOW’ BOND: COURT DOCS

Photo shows mugshot for Shannon Brandt, the man who admitted to hitting an 18-year-old with his car after the pair had a "political dispute." Outset image shows partially redacted court records

Photo shows mugshot for Shannon Brandt, the man who admitted to hitting an 18-year-old with his car after the pair had a “political dispute.” Outset image shows partially redacted court records
(Stutsman County Corrections/Court records)

Brandt also “made comments regarding the incident being intentional and not an accident” during the 911 call, according to the probable cause affidavit.

According to the affidavit, when the 911 operator asked “he wouldn’t let your vehicle go then what happened,” and Brandt responded “yes I… I just tried to take of en, he… he wasn’t going to let me go, I I hit him I didn’t mean to and and he’s subdued I was scared to death but he’s subdued, he can’t do anything to me now so, so this is why I’m calling you.”

“I mean I… I almost oh god, I almost just runaway but I thought jeez obviously if it was a total accident I wouldn’t be scared but I know it was more than that,” Brandt said, the affidavit states.

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Mourners at funeral of Cayler Ellingson

Mourners at funeral of Cayler Ellingson
(Matt Symon Fox News Digital)

An autopsy performed on Ellingson indicates that his injuries were the result of being “ran over” by the SUV, not being hit by the front of the car.

Ellingson’s family held a funeral for the teenager on Sept. 21.

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