A Minnesota father murdered a 77-year-old convicted sex offender with a moose antler and shovel after accusing the victim of molesting his young daughter.
Levi Axtell, 27, walked into the sheriff’s office covered in blood and with his head in his hands as he admitted to killing Lawrence Scully, who was jailed for sexually abusing a six-year-old girl in 1979.
Axtell, of Cook County, Minnesota, had long suspected that Scully parked her vehicle where children were present.
In 2018, Axtell filed for an order of protection against the elder that was initially granted but later withdrawn.
Court records also show that Scully was committed to a mental institution in 2020, but was later released and prescribed antipsychotic medication.
Levi Axtell murdered Lawrence Scully, a 77-year-old convicted sex offender, using a moose antler and shovel after accusing the victim of stalking his daughter.
Axtell is pictured with Katrina Axtell, who is believed to be her sister in a Facebook photo.
A criminal complaint filed Friday says Axtell repeatedly beat Scully with a shovel in his own apartment before “finishing him off” with a large moose antler. It is also believed that at some point he vandalized Scully’s vehicle.
A criminal complaint states that Axtell entered Scully’s home at around 4:45 p.m. and struck him 15 to 20 times with a shovel he had found on the victim’s deck.
Axtell told officers that he finished the job with a large elk antler, according to the complaint.
“The defendant said that he had known (Scully) for a long time and believed that she had committed sexual offenses against children in the past,” it states.
“The defendant said that he had observed (Scully) parked in her vehicle in places where children were present and believed that she would re-offend.”
A Cook County sheriff’s deputy entered the property around 5 p.m. Wednesday and found Scully with “major head trauma and surrounded by blood,” adding that he was “obviously dead.”
The father had entered the police station covered in blood and with his head in his hands as he confessed to the murder.
A medical examiner noted that Scully had defensive wounds on her arms.
A neighbor called 911 to also report the incident after seeing a van pull up at Scully’s residence and crush a vehicle before running home.
The witness added that he heard screams.
Scully was 33 when he was jailed for sexually abusing a six-year-old girl, also in Minnesota.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to between zero and five years in state prison in Bayport, Minnesota.
He remained in prison until December 31, 1981 when he requested post-conviction relief.
A hearing document stated that the state had not presented any evidence that he would pose a danger to the public.
In 2014, he ran for mayor of Grand Marais, Minnesota.
But in 2018 he again faced accusations of sexual misconduct with minors.
The relatives revealed that they had received a lot of support from the local community after the incident.
Scully was murdered at his home in Grand Marquis, Minnesota. A witness said that he heard screaming from the apartment.
That year Axtell filed for a protection order, alleging stalking of her son.
“They don’t know each other,” he wrote in the petition.
‘The defendant waits for the victim to take a walk from the nursery and tries to talk to her. …she’s been there many times stalking kids in her truck.
I’ve seen it parked right next to the school. … He is a convicted pedophile and his stalking and trying to groom my daughter is completely inappropriate and needs to stop.’
The request was temporarily granted by Judge Michael Cuzzo, who barred Scully from coming within six blocks of Axtell’s home.
But a permanent order was later denied when Cuzzo said “the allegations have not been proven to be true.”
Axtell had a criminal record to his name related to serious damage to a property case.
Sheriff Pat Eliasen said they had been made aware of the allegations against Scully, but an investigation “turned up nothing.”
On Saturday, a woman believed to be Axtell’s sister said she had received a lot of support from the local community and the family planned to organize an online fundraiser to help with the case.
“I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I see online right now in light of Wednesday’s tragedy,” Katrina Axtell wrote on Facebook.
‘When a community member is in crisis, we often feel at a loss about how to support them. When words don’t seem like enough, it can be easy to err on the side of silence out of a desire to respect the privacy of the family involved.
“I would like to welcome you to share your words in support of Levi and our family.”
We also have an online fundraiser in the works and will share it shortly.
He added: “My hope is that both the families involved and the Cook County community as a whole can come together to support each other, listen to each other and heal together.”
Minnesota court records show that, in July 2020, Scully was committed to an asylum, but was released the following year.
In June 2021, the court authorized the use of antipsychotic medication.