Grand Marais man killed with shovel, moose antler: Charges

A man allegedly confessed to killing a 77-year-old man with a shovel and large moose antler in Grand Marais earlier in the week. 

According to the complaint, Cook County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a house on East 5th Street just after 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday for a report that a man pulled into the driveway, smashed a car, and ran into the house. 

The 911 caller reported hearing someone screaming inside the house and saw the man leave, heading toward the Law Enforcement Center, charges say. 

Shortly after, 27-year-old Levi Axtell walked into the law enforcement center covered in blood, saying he had "murdered (the victim) with the shovel," the complaint reads. 

Back at the scene, deputies went inside the house and saw a man surrounded by blood and suffering from major head trauma. Deputies located a bloody shovel near the body, charges say. 

Deputies confirmed the man was dead at the scene, given the "serious nature of his head wounds," according to the complaint. The medical examiner said the 77-year-old had marks on his arms consistent with defensive wounds. 

Axtell was arrested on suspicion of murder and allegedly told investigators he went into the 77-year-old’s home and hit him 15‐20 times in the head with a spade‐style shovel, then "finished him off" with a large moose antler.

The criminal complaint states Axtell thought the 77-year-old was a sex offender, and he believed he would re-offend. 

Axtell was charged with second-degree murder in Cook County and made his first appearance in court Friday morning.