Murder charges filed in death of Cayler Ellingson
CARRINGTON, N.D. (KVRR-KFGO) – Criminal charges against Shannon Brandt, the Glendale, North Dakota man accused of killing 18 year-old Cayler Ellingson with his vehicle, have been upgraded to include murder, a class AA felony, the maximum penalty for which is life imprisonment without parole.
Foster County State’s Attorney Kara Brinster also requested the district court dismiss the previous charges filed in the case, including criminal vehicular homicide. The new charges were filed in district court Friday morning based on information gathered during an investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation which included interviews with people involved and an autopsy of Ellingson at the University Forensic Pathology Center.
An affidavit filed by the BCI special agent investigating the case said Ellingson called his parents a number of times between 2:00 to 2:42 am September 18 in reference to Brandt. In the last call Sheri Ellingson received at 2:42 am, Cayler’s mother said he told her something to the effect of “they are” or “he is after me.” The NDHP incident report says Ellingson was hit and killed around 2:55 am.
The affidavit says Brandt made comments to the 911 operator that “the incident was intentional and not an accident.”
The Highway Patrol accident investigation found there were no acceleration or skid marks in the gravel alley where Ellingson was found. The autopsy report said the nature and manner of injuries Ellingson received show that he was on the ground when he received the injuries, indicating they were not caused from being struck but rather by being run over.
Brandt is accused of killing Ellingson in the early morning hours of Sept. 18 following a street dance in McHenry, North Dakota.