According to reports, a Minnesota father has confessed to killing a sex offender whom he suspected of stalking his young daughter. The father allegedly employed a moose antler to "complete the act" of violence.
A Minnesota father used a shovel and a moose antler to kill a 77-year-old convicted sex offender, whom he accused of stalking his young daughter.
Levi Axtell, aged 27, walked into the sheriff's office with blood covering him and his head in his hands to confess to killing Lawrence Scully, who was serving time for sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl in 1979.
Axtell, a resident of Cook County, Minnesota, had been harboring suspicions for a long time that Scully would park his car in areas frequented by minors.
In 2018, Axtell filed for an order of protection against the elderly man, which was initially granted but later rescinded.
Court documents indicate that Scully was admitted to a mental health facility in 2020, but was eventually discharged and prescribed anti-psychotic medication.
As per a criminal charge on Friday, Axtell allegedly used a shovel to repeatedly hit Scully in his apartment and then used a large moose antler to ultimately kill him. Additionally, he is suspected of having broken Scully's car window at some point.
Per the criminal complaint, Axtell entered Scully's residence around 4:45 PM and utilized a shovel he discovered on the victim's porch to strike him 15-20 times.
As stated in the lawsuit, Axtell asserted that he had employed a substantial moose antler to accomplish the act.
"Defendant said he had known (Scully) for a long time, and believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past," it states.
"Defendant said he had observed (Scully) parked in his vehicle at locations where children were present and believed he would re-offend."
On Wednesday at approximately 5 PM, a sheriff's officer from Cook County entered the premises and discovered Scully, who had sustained severe head injuries and was "surrounded by blood." The officer reported that Scully was clearly deceased.
Upon confessing to the killing, the father walked into the police station with blood on him and held his head in his hands.
According to a medical examiner, Scully had injuries on his arms indicative of self-defense.
A neighbor witnessed a van arrive at Scully's residence, damage a vehicle, and then speed away. Both the neighbor and Scully contacted 911 to report the occurrence.
The witness reported hearing screams.
At the time of his incarceration in Minnesota for sexually assaulting a six-year-old child, Scully was 33 years old.
After pleading guilty, Scully was sentenced to serve a term ranging from 0 to 5 years in Bayport State Prison in Minnesota.
He remained incarcerated until he submitted a petition for post-conviction relief on December 31, 1981.
A document from the hearing stated that the state had not presented any evidence to suggest that he posed a threat to the public.
In 2014, he filed a petition to run for the position of mayor in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Nevertheless, by 2018, Scully had again become the subject of allegations regarding sexual misconduct with minors.
During that same year, Axtell submitted a request for a restraining order, alleging that his child was being stalked.
"They do not know each other," he wrote in the petition.
"The respondent waits for the victim to go on walks from daycare and tries to talk to her. ... He has been there many times stalking children in his van."
"I have seen him parked right next to the school. ... He is a convicted pedophile and him stalking and attempting to groom my daughter is completely inappropriate and needs to stop."
Judge Michael Cuzzo granted the request on a temporary basis, ordering Scully not to travel within a six-block radius of Axtell's residence.
However, Judge Cuzzo later declared that the allegations had not been substantiated, resulting in the denial of a permanent restraining order.
Axtell's criminal record only showed a single arrest for illegal property damage.
Sheriff Pat Eliasen reported that Scully had been the target of allegations, but an investigation failed to reveal any evidence to support the claims.
On Saturday, a woman believed to be Axtell's sister stated that the family planned to initiate an online fundraising campaign to aid with the investigation and that they had garnered significant support from the community.
"I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I am seeing 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 for how to support them. When words don't feel 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."
She added: "My hope is that both families involved and the Cook County community as a whole can come together to support one another, hear one another, and heal together."
Minnesota court records indicate that Scully was committed to a psychiatric facility in July 2020, but he was released the next year.
In June 2021, the use of antipsychotic drugs was authorized by the court.