A Minnesota man turned himself in to police last week, telling them he bludgeoned a 78-year-old to death with a shovel and a moose antler because he believed the man was sexually “offending” children.
Levi William Axtell, 28, drove to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office minutes after fatally beating the man, alleging that the elderly man had “stalked” his 22-month-old daughter.
According to a complaint filed with the sheriff’s office, Axtell allegedly told detectives he had known the man for a long time and “believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past.”
On March 10, Axtell was charged with second-degree murder for the death of Lawrence Scully.
A press release from police said Axtell drove to Scully’s Grand Marais home on March 8 and assaulted him, inflicting blows to his head that resulted in his death.
Court records obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune show that investigators received a call just before 5 a.m. from someone who noticed a white minivan pulling into Scully’s driveway. A man entered the house and moments later witnesses heard screaming.
Axtell, covered in blood, arrived at the sheriff’s office shortly afterward, the court records show. He told investigators that he grabbed a shovel from Scully’s deck and hit him approximately 20 times, before using a moose antler to “finish him off.”
Cook Country Sheriff Pat Eliasen told NBC that Axtell and Scully had “experienced some conflict in the past,” referencing Axtell’s allegations that Scully had stalked his daughter and sat outside her daycare in a van.
Axtell told investigators he wanted to prevent Scully from “potentially re-offending,” according to CBS.
Eliasen told the Star Tribune that Scully was convicted of sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl in 1979. He served time in prison until 1982 and moved to a different part of the state when he was released.
He also said there had been several other allegations over the years, “but an investigation didn’t reveal anything. Most of the reports were regarding harassment.”
Axtell will appear in court later this month.