A father slaughtered a convicted sex offender with a large moose antler, according to court records. After all of the details were uncovered, members of his community said he “had no choice” and hailed him a “hero.”
A Minnesota father turned himself in and confessed to fatally beating a convicted sex offender whom he believed had stalked his toddler daughter, the Star Tribune reported. Levi Axtell walked into the sheriff’s office covered in blood with his head in his hands as he admitted to killing Lawrence Scully, who was jailed for molesting a six-year-old girl in 1979.
Scully served just three years for the 1979 sexual assault. A document from his parole hearing stated he did not present a danger to the public. But by 2018 he was once again facing allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. Court records also show Scully was committed to a mental institution in 2020 but was later released and prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, the Daily Mail reported.
Levi Axtell, from Cook County, Minnesota, had long been suspicious of Scully parking his vehicle at locations where children were present. Axtell told the court in 2018 that Scully had stalked his then 22-month-old daughter at her daycare. He alleged Scully would sit in his van near the daycare as the children were taken for walks. When Axtell sought an order of protection, he described the stalking of his child.
“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.” The request was temporarily granted which forbade Scully from going within six blocks of Axtell’s home. However, the protection order was later rescinded.
Axtell decided to take the law into his own hands. According to police reports, a caller described seeing a minivan pull into Scully’s driveway and the driver ran inside the home. The caller claimed to hear screaming. The van left. Axtell, covered in blood, arrived at the sheriff’s office in this van, got on his knees, put his hands on his head, and admitted he killed Scully, authorities claimed.
Axtell allegedly admitted he took a shovel off the deck, struck Scully 15 to 20 times, and “finished him off” with several more strikes from a large moose antler. A deputy found Scully “obviously dead from the nature of his head wounds” at the home, police said. Axtell said he had known Scully for a long time “and believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past,” the complaint read. “[Axtell] said he had observed [Scully] parked in the vehicle at locations where children were present and believed he would re-offend.”
Todd Axtell, who is Levi Axtell’s uncle and was St. Paul’s police chief from 2016 to 2022, told the Star Tribune 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.
Meanwhile, Katrina Axtell, who has been identified as the sister of Levi Axtell, got an outpouring of support from the community. “I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I am seeing online right now in light of [the] tragedy,’ Katrina wrote on Facebook. Most commenters hailed her brother a “hero” and claimed, “he had no choice.” However, one man didn’t see it that way. “More victims were made and nothing but a nightmare is left behind, please explain how that is a service to me or his daughter,” Tim Sully posted.
Other social media users also sympathized with Levi Axtell. “Give him a public service award for taking out the trash!” wrote one supporter. “Hopefully a jury will acquit him & recommend some form of public service award,” posted another. “Yes. We can only pray. The man tried to get help from authorities but he was ignored essentially,” responded one social media user.
While another person said: “The poor man went to take out a restraining order but it was dropped. He has made a number of complaints. Meanwhile, the Pedo was on anti-psychotics, but authorities still didn’t take the father’s complaints seriously. Despite the ‘victim’ repeatedly stalking and trying to talk to Levi’s little girl… I don’t condone vigilantism but they should have listened.”