A man admitted he beat an elderly sex offender to death, according to deputies in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Levi Axtell, 27, is in the local jail for second-degree murder, records show. Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen confirmed that victim Lawrence V. Scully, 77, was convicted in 1979 of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl, according to The Minnesota Star Tribune. Axtell reportedly accused Scully in 2018 of stalking his toddler daughter.
Authorities claim in a complaint that a caller described seeing a minivan pull into Scully’s driveway and the driver ran inside the home. The caller claimed to hear screaming. The van left.
Axtell, intoxicated and covered in blood, soon after arrived at the sheriff’s office in this van, got on his knees, put his hands on his head, and admitted he murdered Scully with a shovel, authorities claimed. He allegedly demanded they handcuff him because he was otherwise going to hurt someone else.
Axtell allegedly admitted he took a shovel off the deck, struck Scully 15 to 20 times, and “finished him off” with several more strikes from a large moose antler.
A deputy found Scully “obviously dead from the nature of his head wounds” at the home, authorities said.
Axtell claimed in 2018 that Scully stalked Axtell’s 22-month-old daughter, according to the outlet. Scully allegedly sat nearby in a van while the child was taken on walks from her day care.
“He has been there many times stalking children in his van,” Axtell wrote when asking a court for an order for protection. “He is a convicted pedophile, and him stalking and attempting to groom my daughter is completely inappropriate and needs to stop.”
The order for protection was granted for several weeks then dismissed, however.
Sheriff Eliasen told the outlet that though Scully faced allegations through the years, “an investigation didn’t reveal anything.” Most of these claims were about harassment and trespassing at the gas station where Axtell worked.
As for Axtell, he reportedly pleaded guilty in 2018 to vandalizing a pastor’s car. His felony charge was dismissed once he finished three years of probation.
At a hearing Friday, defense lawyer Dennis Shaw, who did not suggest a specific bail amount, reportedly said his client lacked a serious criminal history up to this point, and was a minimal flight risk from longtime ties to the local community.
County Attorney Molly Hicken asked for a $1 million bail, calling this “a brutal attack without provocation on an elderly man.”
“Given the nature of the charge, that alone presents a flight risk,” Judge Michael Cuzzo said.
Axtell is to be jailed leading up to an April 10 court date.
Scully ran for Grand Marais mayor in 2014. He lost.
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