A Minnesota father allegedly used a moose antler and a shovel to fatally beat an elderly man he believed was sexually abusing children, a criminal complaint states.
Levi William Axtell, 27, turned himself in to police Wednesday, minutes after he killed a 77-year-old man. Axtell allegedly admitted to the crime, telling detectives that he had known the victim for a long time and “believed him to have sexually offended against children in the past,” according to the complaint.
A witness told the Cook County Sheriff’s Office that around 5 p.m. Wednesday, a person in a white Dodge Caravan pulled into the driveway of the victim’s Grand Marais home, smashed a vehicle and then ran inside the residence, the document says.
The witness heard screams coming from inside the home and saw the driver of the van flee the scene.
Authorities said the alleged driver, identified as Axtell, drove to the police station. While covered in blood, he went inside with his hands on his head and said that he had murdered the victim, according to the complaint.
The victim was found dead in his home next to a bloody shovel. A preliminary medical examiner’s report said he had defensive wounds on his arms and died from blunt force head injuries.
Axtell told detectives that he found a shovel on the victim’s deck and hit the man over the head with it about 20 times, the complaint states. He said he “finished him off” by hitting him in the head several times with a large moose antler, it says.
Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen said that Axtell and the victim had “experienced some conflict in the past” and that Axtell had alleged that he had stalked his 22-month-old daughter “but nothing was ever sustained.”
When asked about the allegations that the victim had sexually abused children, the sheriff said there was apparently a case from the 1970s out of Kanabec County, Minnesota. Eliasen did not have details about the case, and nothing related to those allegations was found in online court records for the victim.
NBC News reached out to the Kanabec County court for comment.
Axtell was charged with second-degree murder. Attorney information was not immediately available.