Levi Axtell, a 27-year-old Minnesota resident, is accused of killing Lawrence V. Scully, 77, by striking him over the head with a shovel and moose antlers.
The town of Grand Marais, where the murder occurred, has been rocked by the news. Around 1,340 people call this community home and Sheriff Pat Eliasen said the murder came as “quite a shock” to them.
Confessed to the Crime
According to court documents, Axtell walked into a police station covered in blood and confessed to the murder. He claimed he believed Scully was stalking his daughter (who is a toddler) at her daycare and he suspected Scully of having sexually abused children in the past.
Axtell had known Scully for a long time and filed an order of protection against him in 2018, alleging that Scully was harassing his family.
The order was initially granted, but later dropped for unknown reasons. Axtell claimed he had seen Scully park in his car at places where kids were and felt that he would repeat his offense.
Dad uses shovel and moose ANTLER to kill 77-year-old sex offender.
Levi Axtell charged with murdering convicted sex offender Lawrence Scully.
Axtell had previously sought restraining order against Scully, 77, whom he accused of stalking his young daughter – but it looks like… https://t.co/roWKfXmAiq pic.twitter.com/srjEN9PzG6
— 🇦🇺🇳🇿 ♀️Emma ♀️ 🇭🇺🇬🇧 (@TheCynicalHun) March 12, 2023
The night of the murder, a citizen called the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to report that they had seen someone pull into Scully’s driveway, smash a vehicle, and then run into the house.
The citizen heard screaming inside the house before the man drove to the police station, where he confessed to the murder. When officers arrived at Scully’s home, they found him dead with a serious head and defensive wounds on his arms.
Dennis Shaw, Axtell’s attorney, contended that his client was not a flight risk because of his long history in Grand Marais and the lack of a major rap sheet until recently.
However, Axtell was previously convicted of misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and underage drinking in 2014, according to criminal records. Despite Shaw’s objections, Axtell is held in the Cook County jail on a $1 million bond.
Based Dad beats pedo with a moose antler.
The suspect, Levi Axtell, 27, was taken into custody and arraigned Friday on a second-degree murder charge in the death of 77-year-old Lawrence V. Scully, who was convicted of molesting a 6-year-old girl in 1979.https://t.co/DHF2UV00Tc pic.twitter.com/E6LWHGq2xH
— Dane (@UltraDane) March 12, 2023
The investigation into the murder is ongoing and it is unclear whether Axtell acted alone or whether anyone else was involved.
Scully had been convicted of molesting a six-year-old girl in 1979. Axtell claimed he believed Scully had sexually abused children in the past. Further complaints have been made against Scully, according to Sheriff Eliasen, but the inquiry “didn’t discover anything” and “most of the complaints were concerned harassment.”
The case has raised questions about the effectiveness of orders of protection and the difficulty of predicting and preventing violent crimes.
Axtell’s belief that Scully was a danger to children may have contributed to his decision to take matters into his own hands, but his actions resulted in tragedy and loss for Scully’s family and the community of Grand Marais.
The murder has also highlighted the impact of trauma and abuse on victims and their families. Scully’s conviction for molesting a six-year-old girl in 1979 may have had long-lasting effects on his life and relationships.
Axtell’s belief that he was protecting his daughter from a similar fate is a reminder of the far-reaching consequences of sexual abuse.
The case is a tragic reminder of the need for support and resources for abuse victims and the importance of taking all allegations of abuse seriously. It is also a reminder of the need for effective strategies for preventing violent crimes and addressing the root causes of violence in our communities.This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.