Brandon Scott Lavergne Pleads Guilty To Murder Of Mickey Shunick
Brandon Scott Lavergne has changed his plea in the case of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate to guilty.
In a plea deal worked out with prosecutors, Brandon Scott Lavergne will spend the rest of his life in prison, and he has already been booked into the Angola State Penitentiary, according to our news partners at KATC TV-3.
As part of the deal, Lavergne was required to show the location of Mickey Shunick's body and to reenact with police the events that occurred that night. Lavergne did this on August 7th, when news of Mickey's body being found was broken.
According to the account in court, Brandon Scott Lavergne followed Mickey into a residential area near Blackham Coliseum, where he hit the back of her bike with his truck and then forced her into the truck with him. She grabbed her cell phone to call 9-1-1 and Lavergne threatened her with his knife.
She sprayed him with mace that she carried with her and took the knife from Lavergne. Shunick then stabbed him, but Lavergne grabbed the knife by the blade and stabbed her four times, causing her to pass out. Thinking she was dead, he took her to a field where he intended to dump her body. She then came to and stabbed Lavergne several times. He then took a gun that he had in the truck and fired it once into her head, killing her.
After her death, he took her backpack and other materials and burned them. He then dumped her body and left for the New Orleans area, dumping her bike in the Whiskey Bay area on his way through. After pictures of the truck were released, he took the truck to Texas and burned it, buying a new truck after that.
Lavergne also shared details regarding the killing of Lisa Pate. In the court proceedings, it was revealed that Lavergne and Lisa Pate met at a hotel in 1999. The two were together for several days and Pate decided that she wanted to return to the area to see family. Lavergne refused to let her go. After she attempted to steal his wallet, he smothered her with a plastic bag. Lavergne decided to move her body to Acadia Parish where he hid it under the wood where she was found. Police say that there were remnants of plastic found on the body that confirmed this account.
Lavergne walked into the Lafayette Parish District Courthouse this morning for the hearing as reporters shouted questions at him. Lavergne remained silent while making his way into the courthouse. When details of Mickey Shunick's struggle with Lavergne were revealed during the proceedings, the Shunick family was emotional in the courtroom.
This week KPEL reported on the case of missing teenager from Texas and whether or not there is a connection between her case and Brandon Scott Lavergne. The girl, 16-year-old Ali Lowitzer, has been missing since April of 2010. Mac Sanford, the private investigator hired by the Lowitzer family, says that he got tips from people saying they saw a white truck similar to Lavergne's at the time the girl was last seen.
In addition, Sanford says Lowitzer disappeared in a county very near to where Brandon Scott Lavergne's truck was burned and subsequently discovered by police.
“We had two tips come in saying two separate times, both of them saying a white domestic Chevy truck with a male driver was trying to lure Ali into the vehicle on the side of the street where she went missing,” Sanford says.
Those tips also included pieces of a license plate number. Sanford says those numbers very closely matched those of the plate on the white truck Lavergne owned at the time.
“So from there everything just kind of started kind of falling into place,” Sanford says. “I feel really confident that we have a huge link here.”
Hear the complete account of the court proceedings from KPEL's Nathan Pike below:
KPEL's Bernadette Lee, Nathan Pike and Jeremy Lawrence contributed to this report.