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Cook County resident Levi Axtell charged with murder of Grand Marais man
Levi Axtell Image Courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Department

Cook County resident Levi Axtell charged with murder of Grand Marais man

Cook County resident Levi Axtell was charged with murder today following the death of a Grand Marais man earlier this week.

Axtell, 27, is currently being held in the Cook County Jail in Grand Marais, local sources confirmed with WTIP. He is being held on probable cause of murder in the second degree. The jail roster report from Cook County officials says the murder was not premeditated.

The arraignment that took place today is connected to the March 8 death of Lawrence Scully, a Grand Marais man with a checkered past who ran for mayor in 2014. Scully was found dead Wednesday afternoon following a violent altercation at his home.

Axtell told local authorities he beat Scully with a shovel and “finished him off” with a large moose antler. He explained to local authorities he hit Scully 15-20 times with the shovel before using the moose antler as a weapon. Axtell was covered in blood when he turned himself in at the local law enforcement center.

Axtell and Scully have a history of legal wrangling, including issues related to the safety of children, according to numerous media reports that have surfaced since the altercation that took place late Wednesday afternoon. Court filings shared with WTIP from Cook County officials show that Axtell sought a protective order against Scully on behalf of his then 22-month-old daughter in April 2018.

Axtell told Cook County authorities that he’d known Scully for a long time, and believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past. Axtell said he had observed Scully parked in his vehicle at locations where children were present and believed he would reoffend.

Scully was a notorious personality in Grand Marais. He ran for mayor in 2014, though during the campaign many called into question his past behavior as a convicted sexual predator.

It was Axtell who notified local law enforcement Wednesday afternoon following the violent incident that took place at Scully’s home at 1109 East 5th St. in Grand Marais. Upon arrival, deputies located Scully suffering from multiple areas of trauma to the head. He died from the injuries, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Axtell was arraigned via Zoom on the day he was charged, and bail was set in the amount of $1 million. Pending his next appearance in the courtroom on April 10, Axtell will be held in the custody of the Cook County Sheriff.