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UPDATE: Man who ran over Republican teen in North Dakota now charged with felony murder

Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster filed new criminal charges against Brandt including Murder, which is a Class AA Felony, and Duty in Accident Involving Death or Injury, a Class B Felony. The charges of vehicular homicide were dropped in lieu of the upgrade.

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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Charges have been upgraded for Shannon Brandt, the suspect who allegedly ran over 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson on September 18 for being a Republican in McHenry, North Dakota.

According to local news, Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster filed new criminal charges against Brandt including Murder, which is a Class AA Felony, and Duty in Accident Involving Death or Injury, a Class B Felony. The charges of vehicular homicide were dropped in lieu of the upgrade.



Early on the morning of Sunday, September 18, Brandt is accused of running down Ellingson, of Grace City, North Dakota, after a street dance held at a local bar. Brandt told State Radio that the young man was part of a "Republican extremist group" and that his targeting of Ellingson was politically motivated.

There is "no evidence" Ellingson was part of any such group, according to North Dakota police. Witnesses have said that the two did not engage in a verbal dispute.

New details emerged from the new filings, as Brandt called 911 and spoke with dispatcher, or State Radio, and said, "I just wanna ask you a question, am I going to go to prison?"

Brandt also said "he [Ellingson] wasn't going to let me go, I hit him" and "he's subdued."

"He can't do anything to me now," Brandt told the dispatcher.

An autopsy showed that there were no acceleration marks or skid marks near the location of the 18-year-old victim's body, indicating no rushed or threatened vehicle acceleration.

Further, the autopsy indicates that Ellingson's primary injuries were caused from the SUV running over him, not from an initial impact.

The 18-year-old called his mother as Brandt chased him in his SUV to ask if she knew Brandt. She told her son she was on her way to get him directly before Brandt allegedly murdered the young man by running him down.
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