Shannon Brandt's bond 'woefully inadequate' for alleged killing of teen: former assistant US attorney

Brandt was released from jail after posting bond and isn't under house arrest and has no curfew

A former assistant United States attorney says that Shannon Brandt's bond is "very low" and "woefully inadequate" for his alleged killing of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson with an SUV.

Brandt, 41, used an SUV to hit Ellingson during the early morning hours of Sept. 18 and told a 911 operator that he hit the teenager because he was part of a "Republican extremist group" and was adding that he had a "political argument" with Ellingson, court documents show. Brandt also alleged that Ellingson was calling others to come "get him," according to the documents.

Ellingson was severely injured and was taken to a local hospital, but later died.

Brandt was charged with criminal vehicular homicide, as well as leaving the scene of a crash involving a death after the incident. He was released from jail on Sept. 20 after posting a $50,000 bond, and wasn't placed under house arrest or given a curfew.

CAYLER ELLINGSON'S ALLEGED KILLER NOT UNDER HOUSE ARREST, NO CURFEW AFTER POSTING 'VERY LOW' BOND: COURT DOCS

North Dakota man who ran down 'Republican' teen says he doesn't want his own life, job jeopardized 

North Dakota man who ran down 'Republican' teen says he doesn't want his own life, job jeopardized  (Foster County Sheriff, Facebook)

North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Bryan Niewind told Fox News Digital that there is "no evidence" suggesting that Ellingson was part of a "Republican extremist group" or that the incident involved politics.

Under the terms of the bail order, Brandt cannot leave North Dakota, cannot drink alcohol and must participate in a 24/7 sobriety program with constant testing.

Brandt also cannot possess "a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon," and cannot go within 300 feet of the Ellingson family.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Neama Rahman told Fox News Digital that the bond handed down to Brandt is "woefully inadequate."

CAYLER ELLINGSON: FUNERAL SET FOR 18-YEAR-OLD ALLEGEDLY MOWED DOWN BY SHANNON BRANDT

At least 100 people could be seen going into the funeral home located in Carrington on Sunday night. Family friends of the Ellingson's said that Cayler was an "exceptional child" with a bright future ahead of him.

At least 100 people could be seen going into the funeral home located in Carrington on Sunday night. Family friends of the Ellingson's said that Cayler was an "exceptional child" with a bright future ahead of him. (Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

"Yeah, it's a low amount, no question. Whenever you're dealing with a vehicular manslaughter case, that's low in general," Rahman said. "For those reasons, I think $50,000 is woefully inadequate for the bond in this case."

Rahman said that because Brandt is accused of fleeing the scene of the incident on Sept. 18, he should be considered a flight risk.

He also said that prosecutors should have charged Brandt with first-degree murder.

"He acted intentionally," Rahman said. "If you intentionally kill someone with a vehicle, that's murder."

NORTH DAKOTA COMMUNITY MEMBERS DESCRIBE CAYLER ELLINGSON AS AN 'EXCEPTIONAL CHILD' WITH BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD

Photo shows mugshot for Shannon Brandt, the man who admitted to hitting an 18-year-old with his car after the pair had a "political dispute." Outset image shows partially redacted court records

Photo shows mugshot for Shannon Brandt, the man who admitted to hitting an 18-year-old with his car after the pair had a "political dispute." Outset image shows partially redacted court records (Stutsman County Corrections/Court records)

When asked if he had ever seen any case like this, Rahman said "absolutely not."

"I've never seen anything like this," he said. "To issue a bond so low, it's really sort of an unprecedented judicial decision. So hopefully prosecutors step up and do the right thing."

A funeral for Ellingson is being held on Monday afternoon in Carrington, North Dakota.

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Shannon Brandt, 41, is charged in the vehicular death of a North Dakota teenage boy he claimed occurred after a political argument. 

Shannon Brandt, 41, is charged in the vehicular death of a North Dakota teenage boy he claimed occurred after a political argument.  (Foster County Sheriff)

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Brant's attorney, Mark Friese, said that he wants to give the family time to grieve before issuing a statement.

"It would be inappropriate for me to comment before a family and community have been given time to grieve. It is also premature for me to do so without first closely reviewing the evidence and case background," Friese said.