A grand jury has indicted Brandon Scott Lavergne on two counts of first-degree murder, one for the killing of 21-year-old UL student Mickey Shunick, and one for the killing of 35-year-old Lisa Pate, whose body was found in October 1999 buried underneath boards behind a house near Church Point.Brandon Scott Lavergne, the man accused in the May 19 disappearance of 21-year-old Mickey Shunick, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder late Wednesday afternoon, charged by a grand jury with the killings of both Shunick and 35-year-old Lisa Pate, whose body was found in October 1999 buried beneath boards near a house in Church Point.
According to KATC, the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced shortly after the grand jury proceedings that it intends to seek the death penalty against Lavergne, a 33-year-old convicted sex offender who was living in rural St. Landry Parish at the time of his arrest July 5.
A City Hall security camera captured Shunick on her bike at 1:48 a.m. May 19 on St. Landry Street near University Avenue, about the same time a white Chevrolet Z71 was caught on tape at the intersection traveling in the same direction. Lafayette police say that truck was driven by Lavergne, whom they contend later set fire to it in San Jacinto County, Texas, within days of the images being released to the public.
Once he returned home, Lavergne purchased another white Chevrolet Z71 from Don’s Wholesale in Lafayette to replace the one destroyed by arson.
On the same day Shunick went missing, Lavergne was treated at Ochsner Hospital in the New Orleans area. He had been stabbed several times in the chest, back, neck and hand with a “knife/cutting instrument,” according to a report on the incident by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Lavergne told the deputy who interviewed him at the hospital that he was attacked outside of a gas station when he stopped to ask for directions but would not, or could not, provide any details about where the supposed incident occurred.
Lavergne also went to the emergency room of Opelousas General, which is nearer his home in the Swords area of St. Landry Parish. Our sources say doctors at the hospital performed surgery on his finger, and note that at the time Lavergne also was suffering from an extensive breakout of poison ivy. It’s unclear if he went to the Opelousas hospital immediately after returning from New Orleans and whether he was treated on a single visit. It is worth noting that, depending on a person’s sensitivity, poison ivy breakouts can begin to appear within a few hours of contact with the plant.