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 killing of a North Dakota teen by a drunk 41-year-old man over a “political argument” declined to note the alleged assailant reportedly thought the victim was part of a “Republican extremist group.”

The Wednesday report from The Associated Press stated, “A driver charged with fatally striking a teenager in North Dakota allegedly told investigators he purposely hit the teen with his SUV after they had a political argument, according to court documents.”.

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

NORTH DAKOTA MAN KILLS TEEN WITH VEHICLE AFTER POLITICAL DISPUTE, CLAIMS VICTIM WAS REPUBLICAN ‘EXTREMIST’

An Associated Press report on a North Dakota man who ran down a teen over a political argument omitted the alleged killer claimed the teen was part of a "Republican extremist group," according to court documents.

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

The AP reported, “Cayler Ellingson, 18, was struck and killed following a street dance in McHenry early Sunday. The driver accused of striking Ellingson in an alley, Shannon Brandt, 41, is charged in Foster County with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death.”

The driver was reportedly drunk, as a breathalyzer test showed that his blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit. 

The AP report noted that Brandt “posted $50,000 bond Tuesday and was released. His attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.” Providing more details, it reported, “Brandt told investigators he left the scene after striking Ellingson, returned briefly, called 911 and then left again, according to a probable cause affidavit.”

The report also mentioned that a “GoFundMe for Ellingson had raised over $27,000 as of Thursday morning,” but did not mention the political details referenced in court documents. 

“Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, which helped investigate the death, said the political argument claim by Brandt has not been substantiated because the investigation is still ongoing and more witnesses need to be interviewed. The specific details of the alleged argument were not released,” the AP report stated, again without mentioning the particulars of the “political argument claim.”

A North Dakota man is charged with running over a teenager he claimed belonged to a "Republican extremist group" after they had a "political argument."

A North Dakota man is charged with running over a teenager he claimed 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 on Sunday morning, according to other reports. He claimed that after he and Ellingson had gotten into a political argument, he felt threatened.

“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,’” Fox News Digital reported.

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The text of the court document stated, “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.”

Fox News Digital reached out to The Associated Press for comment.

Portion of the probable cause affidavit for the Sept. 18, 2002, arrest of Shannon Brandt, noting that Brandt claimed the teen he allegedly killed was part of a "Republican extremist group."

Portion of the probable cause affidavit for the Sept. 18, 2002, arrest of Shannon Brandt, noting that Brandt claimed the teen he allegedly killed was part of a "Republican extremist group." (Foster County State’s Attorney’s Office)