COOK COUNTY, Minn. – A father in Minnesota admitted to fatally beating a sex offender he believed had stalked his toddler daughter. On March 8, Levi Axtell, 27, walked into a sheriff’s station covered in blood, fell to his knees and told deputies he fatally beat Lawrence V. Scully, 77, with a shovel 15-20 times and then “finished him off” with a moose antler, according to court documents obtained by Fox News.
Apparently in a state of duress, Axtell demanded to be restrained as he threatened to hurt others if he wasn’t handcuffed, according to the report. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office found Scully dead inside his home in Grand Marias.
Axtell was taken into custody and charged with Scully’s death. He was arraigned Friday on the charge of second-degree murder. Scully was previously convicted of molesting a 6-year-old girl in 1979, the New York Post reported.
On March 8, just before 5 p.m., the Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a witness who watched someone pull into Scully’s Grand Marais driveway, “smash a vehicle” and “then run into the house,” according to the affidavit.
“The citizen then heard screaming coming from the house,” the affidavit reads. “While on the call, approximately a minute later,” the citizen told a dispatcher the man was driving to the sheriff’s office, which is about three blocks away.
That’s when Axtell reportedly turned himself in and confessed to law enforcement personnel.
Axtell was covered in blood and “put his hands on his head and said that he had murdered (Scully) with a shovel,” according to the affidavit.
Cook County deputies discovered Scully at his residence. He was “obviously dead from the serious nature of his head wounds,” according to the criminal complaint.
The cause of death was “blunt force head injuries,” the affidavit said, and Scully had “wounds on his arms that are consistent with defensive wounds.”
The Minnesota father was suspicious of Scully and believed he was stalking his young daughter at her daycare, according to the probable cause affidavit, Fox News reported.
Axtell had known Scully for a long time “and believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past,” the criminal complaint read. “(Axtell) said he had observed (Scully) parked in the vehicle at locations where children were present and believed he would re-offend.”
In 2018, Axtell filed an order of protection against Scully. Although the order was initially granted, it was dropped several weeks later without explanation.
Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen told The Associated Press there had been recent allegations against Scully, but a follow-up investigation “didn’t reveal anything.”
“Most of the reports were regarding harassment,” he said.
Sheriff Eliasen told Fox in an email Saturday the brutal killing was “quite a shocker” for the small community of Grand Marais, which has a population of approixmately 1,340, and is located about two hours north of Duluth.
Following Friday’s arraignment, Axtell is being held in the Cook County Jail on $1 million bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 10.