Published September 8, 2023

Prison for Man Who Falsely Blamed Republicans in Manslaughter Case 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Five Years Behind Bars 

CARRINGTON – An incident involving a North Dakota man that attracted national media attention after claiming a person he drove over and killed was part of a “Republican extremist group,” learned his fate in a Foster County courtroom Friday. 

Shannon Brandt, 33, had earlier entered a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter in the death of Cayler Ellingson who was struck by a vehicle driven by Brandt during the early morning hours. Brandt was arrested later that same day. Officials said his blood alcohol was above the legal limit to drive. 

Brandt’s story to law enforcement that he “had a political argument with Ellingson and that he believed Ellingson was calling people to come get him” didn’t hold up during investigation. ND Highway Patrol Captain Bryan Niewind told the Associated Press that, “There has been no corroboration that this was even politically motivated at all.” 

Southeast District Judge Bradley Cruff sentenced Brandt to five years confinement in the State Penitentiary with credit for 356 days already served behind bars. In addition, Brandt will serve three years of supervised probation upon his release from incarceration. 

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