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Dad confesses to killing elderly sex offender with moose antler; says man stalked his daughter

Photo by Doug Jones/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

A Minnesota father turned himself in and confessed to fatally beating a convicted sex offender he believed had stalked his toddler daughter, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

"[Lawrence Scully] is a convicted pedophile, and him stalking and attempting to groom my daughter is completely inappropriate and needs to stop," Levi Axtell reportedly wrote of Lawrence Scully in a request for a protective order in 2018.

Levi Axtell, a 27-year-old father from Grand Marais, was charged with second degree intentional murder after allegedly beating 77-year-old Lawrence Scully to death in Scully's home on March 8, WTIP reported.

A blood-covered Axtell reportedly turned himself in after the encounter, telling local authorities he beat Scully with a shovel and "finished him off" with a moose antler.

"This was a brutal attack without provocation on an elderly man," County Attorney Molly Hicken said during a hearing Friday, according to Star Tribune.

Axtell told the court in 2018 that Scully had stalked his then 22-month-old daughter at her day care. He alleged Scully would sit in his van near the day care as the children were taken for walks. The court temporarily granted Axtell's request for an order of protection, reportedly dismissing it within several weeks.

Scully was convicted of assaulting a 6-year-old girl in 1979 and released from prison in 1982, KNBC reported. WTIP describes Scully as a "notorious personality" in Grand Marais who lost a race for mayor in 2014.

Axtell arrived in the Sheriff's Office covered in blood on Friday. After walking into the lobby, he dropped to his knees, "put his hands on his head and said he had murdered [Scully] with a shovel," according to the Star Tribune.

Axtell said he grabbed the shovel from Scully's deck. After delivering 15 to 20 blows with the shovel, he "finished [Scully] off" via repeated blows with a large moose antler.

Todd Axtell, Levi Axtell's uncle and St. Paul's police chief from 2016 to 2022 told the outlet he loves his nephew. He also said he has "always believed in, and supported, the criminal justice system — a system that will now do what it's designed to do."

Axtell's bail was set at $1 million. His next court appearance is slated for April 10. Until then, WTIP reports, he will be held in custody of the Cook County Sheriff.

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