NE Minn. homicide victim ID'd; suspect had sought protective order against 77-year-old

Court documents indicate that Lawrence Vincent Scully was accused multiple times of sexual abuse or stalking, and was convicted of molesting a child more than 40 years ago


GRAND MARAIS, Minn. — Authorities on Thursday identified a 77-year-old former mayoral candidate who was allegedly killed by the father of a girl he had been accused of stalking.

Lawrence Vincent Scully died after being found with "multiple areas of trauma to the head" in his home at 1109 E. Fifth St. late Wednesday afternoon, said Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen.

The suspect, 28, reported the altercation to the Cook County Sheriff's Office and was known to the victim, 78.

While he would not formally identify the suspect prior to an expected arraignment Friday, Eliasen confirmed the homicide stemmed from an earlier conflict that included an application for an order for protection.

Booking records show that a 27-year-old man who sought an order against Scully in 2018 was registered at the Cook County Jail at 5:11 p.m. Wednesday. The suspect allegedly reported the incident to authorities at approximately 4:48 p.m.

Eliasen did not offer any further details on the altercation or Scully's injuries, saying that the "motive and circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation." The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was called in to investigate, which is common with homicides in smaller jurisdictions.


Court records show the apparent suspect sought the protective order against Scully on behalf of his 22-month-old daughter in April 2018.

"They do not know each other," he wrote in the petition. "The respondent waits for 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."

Other court records indicate Scully was convicted of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old child in Kanabec County in 1979.

Judge Michael Cuzzo initially granted a temporary order preventing Scully from going within six blocks of the petitioner's home and from entering his workplace or the day care center. However, a permanent order was denied in May 2018 after a hearing, with Cuzzo simply writing "the allegations are not proven."

Records show that orders for protection were entered against Scully in at least two other cases, both of which involved allegations of a long-running history of sexual abuse and claimed he was showing up at the petitioners' homes and workplaces.

Scully was charged in 2019 with violating an order for protection, as well as three separate instances of trespassing. However, those cases were later dismissed, as he was found incompetent and was placed under a civil commitment, with Cuzzo finding that he posed a risk of harm to himself or others.

"The examiners' reports are credible and establish that (Scully) is diagnosed with unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder," the judge wrote in a March 2021 order. "The reports establish that, in the past, respondent has exhibited little insight into his mental health illness, and has not voluntarily complied with treatment for his illness."

Scully ran for Grand Marais mayor in 2014, drawing attention in the process to his prior child molestation conviction. He received just 42 of the 600 votes cast in the election, according to Minnesota Secretary of State results.


Scully told the Cook County News Herald at the time that he was a graduate of Hopkins High School in the Twin Cities and came to Grand Marais in 1981. He said he had worked in the aerospace and electrical fields, volunteered services to elderly residents of the area, and did antler carvings in his free time.

It appears to be the first homicide to occur in Cook County since December 2015, when Marcus Roberts was fatally shot by Kirk Bigby at a holiday party at Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte.

The county, however, is currently prosecuting three defendants for their roles in the death of Richard "Ricky" Anthony Balsimo Jr., who was reportedly killed in the Twin Cities before his dismembered remains were thrown into Lake Superior off the shore of Grand Portage in June 2021.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or
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