Prosecutors have charged a North Dakota man with murder for allegedly running over another person at a street dance in what police are calling a politically motivated attack, reports Fox News.
Shannon Brandt, 41, was initially charged with vehicular homicide in the Sept. 18 death of Cayler Ellingson, but that charge has been dropped.
Brandt initially told authorities there had been a political argument at a street festival in the city of McHenry and that Ellingson was part of a "Republican extremist group."
According to an initial probable cause affidavit, Brandt told investigators that he struck Ellingson "because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling people to come get him."
He allegedly asked the dispatcher if he was going to go to jail and told him Ellingson wasn't going to let him go and said, "I hit him and I didn't mean to and he's subdued. I was scared to death, but he's subdued. He can't do anything to me now."
Brandt later said: "I almost — oh, God — I almost just run away. But I thought — jeez — obviously, if it was a total accident, I wouldn't be scared; but I know it was more than that," according to the affidavit.
Police say Brandt was allegedly drunk at the time.
"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," the court document continues. "Brandt admitted to leaving the scene of the incident and returning shortly after where he called 911."
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