The maximum sentence for the man who killed the teen he claimed was a "Republican Extremist" is ten years in prison.
The maximum sentence for the North Dakota man, 42, who admitted to killing Cayler Ellingson, 18, by driving him over with his SUV because he was "part of a Republican extremist group," is only ten years, according to a report by Breitbart News.
The charges against Shannon Brandt were increased from vehicular manslaughter to murder in September.
According to reports, Brandt expressed concern that Ellingson was affiliated with a "Republican extremist group" and that the group was "coming to get him." He then drove his automobile into Ellingson, killing him instantly.
Valley News Live reported at the time:
After visiting the scene where the incident happened, deputies went to Brandt’s house in Glenfield, ND, which is about 12 minutes from the crash scene.
Brandt admitted to consuming alcohol before the incident, and stated he hit Ellingson with his car because he had a political argument with him. Brandt also admitted to deputies that he initially left the crash scene, then returned to call 911, but left again before deputies could arrive.
In the moments before the crash, Ellingson reportedly called his mother to ask whether she knew who Brandt was, according to court filings. She responded affirmatively and informed her kid that she would be picking him up shortly.
According to court documents, Ellingson called his mother again shortly afterward to report that "he" or "they" were chasing him. After the second attempt to reach Ellingson, we gave up.
Manslaughter imposes a maximum sentence of five years in jail, so the charges against Brandt were reduced. This Monday, Brandt pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges, averting a trial that was scheduled to begin on May 30.
Brandt's lawyer, Mark Friese, said on WDAY Radio Now that his client pleaded guilty in part "to protect the involved families from the adversariness of trial."
The attacker's attorney said, "Several factors influenced Shannon’s decision. First, the prosecution amended the charge from homicide to manslaughter. We were unaware of their intention to do so until shortly before they did.
"Secondly, the prosecution deposed three of the defense witnesses last week. I suspect this provided a much clearer picture of the events for the prosecution, and likely influenced their decision to agree to further amend count 1 and to dismiss count 2.
"Third was his desire to protect the involved families from the adversariness of trial. Shannon has never denied responsibility for his part in this tragic accident. A plea of guilty permits him to accept responsibility while limiting the stress and emotional toll for all involved"
Less than a month before Ellingson's death, Vice President Joe Biden used the power of the presidency to portray "MAGA Republicans" as dangerous "extremists" and "white supremacists."