A Minnesota man is facing charges after killing a man he believed was “attempting to groom” his daughter.
On March 8, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 4:45 p.m. from a witness claiming to have seen a minivan pull up to 77-year-old Lawrence Scully’s Grand Marias home — before hearing screaming and seeing the van speed away. But police didn’t have to search long. Soon after, a man named Levi W. Axtell showed up at the sheriff’s office in a van matching the description, “covered in blood,” allegedly intoxicated, and begging to be handcuffed.
The 27-year-old confessed to beating Scully with a shovel from the man’s porch 15-20 times, saying he “finished him off” with a large moose antler, according to court documents acquired by the Star Tribune. Authorities were quickly dispatched to Scully’s home, where they found him “obviously dead from the serious nature of his head wounds.” Yeesh.
What could have caused Axtell to commit such a crime, you may ask? Well, apparently the two had known each other for a long time, and Axtell “believed [Scully] to have sexually offended against children in the past,” and “believed he would reoffend,” according to the court docs.
You see, all the way back in 2018, Axtell claimed Scully was stalking his 22-month-old daughter after allegedly seeing him watch her as she went on walks outside of her local daycare. Soon after, Axtell filed for an order of protection against Scully, writing at the time:
“He has been there many times stalking children in his van. He is a convicted pedophile, and him stalking and attempting to groom my daughter is completely inappropriate and needs to stop.”
The request was temporarily granted, but later dismissed after several weeks, according to court records. Two years after that, Axtell reportedly shared a post on Facebook which read that the “only cure for pedophiles” is a “bullet,” adding:
“People always ask me why I hate pedophiles. They assume I’ve been abused. But really I think being protective is just an Axtell trait.”
Fast forward to 2023, and here we are.
Last Friday, Axtell appeared via Zoom for his arraignment following the attack, where he was charged in Cook County District Court with second-degree intentional murder. County Attorney Molly Hicken asked the judge to set his bail at $1 million, claiming:
“This was a brutal attack without provocation on an elderly man.”
However, Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen confirmed that Scully had indeed been convicted in 1979 of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl, before being released from prison in 1982, adding that there have been numerous allegations against the senior citizen over the years, “but an investigation didn’t reveal anything” — he noted that “most of the reports were regarding harassment.” Hmm…
As of now, Axtell is being held in the custody of Cook County Sheriff until his next court date, which is set for April 10. See more (below):
What do YOU think of this case, Perezcious readers? Do you believe Axtell’s attack really was “unprovoked,” or is there evidence to suggest otherwise? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.
[Images via News Nation/YouTube & Cook County Sheriff’s Office]