A Minnesota man allegedly confessed to beating a convicted sex offender to death with a shovel because of concerns that the victim was stalking his young daughter, WTIP reports.
Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in northern Minnesota received a 911 call from someone who said they saw a person smash into a vehicle in the driveway of 77-year-old Lawrence V. Scully and then enter the man’s home in the city of Grand Marais.
The caller reported hearing screaming and about a minute later told a dispatcher that the subject appeared to be driving to the local police station about three blocks away, WDIO-TV reports.
Authorities say that individual was 27-year-old Levi Axtell, who then walked into the police station “covered in blood” and confessed to striking Scully up to 20 times with a shovel before he “finished him off” with a moose antler, according to court records obtained by WTIP.
Axtell is said to have told police that he was concerned Scully, a sex offender who was found guilty of molesting a 6-year-old girl in 1979, was stalking his young daughter at her daycare facility.
Axtell had known Scully for years “and believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past,” the criminal complaint states, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Axtell reportedly told police that he saw Scully parked “at locations where children were present and believed he would re-offend.”
In 2018, Axtell sought and obtained an order of protection against Scully for his then nearly 2-year-old daughter, but the order was in effect only for several weeks for reasons that are not clear.
There are reports of more recent allegations against Scully, but an investigation did not find anything, Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Most of the reports were regarding harassment,” Eliasen told the AP.
Scully was well known in the community and had run for mayor in 2014, according to the Cook County News Herald.
Approximately two years ago, Axtell posted “Only cure for pedophiles? A bullet” on Facebook, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Axtell was in court on Friday for an arraignment and is being detained on a $1 million bond. His criminal record shows previous misdemeanor charges for underage drinking and disorderly conduct.
The next court hearing for Axtell is scheduled for April 10.
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[Featured image: Levi Axtell/Cook County Sheriff’s Office]