BREAKING: Lafayette Grand Jury Indicts Brandon Lavergne On First Degree Murder Charges Against Mickey Shunick, Lisa Pate
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- A grand jury has indicted Brandon Scott Lavergne on charges he kidnapped and murdered missing University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Mickey Shunick. But in a surprising development, the grand jury also indicted Lavergne on a separate first degree murder charge stemming from a case in July of 1999.
The body of 12 grand jurors returned the decisions Wednesday afternoon. The District Attorney's office presented its case against Lavergne to the grand jury for much of the afternoon.
In a statement from the office of the district attorney, Lavergne is also charged with the first degree murder of Lisa Pate. He allegedly murdered her on July 3, 1999.
Our news partners at KATC TV-3 say Pate went missing in June 1999. Her body was discovered three months later under three large boards in a field northwest of Church Point in Acadia Parish. Anthropologists at LSU were able to positively identify her through dental records.
"A number of law enforcement agencies led by the Lafayette Police Department and the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office have investigated these and related matters for a considerable period of time," District Attorney Michael Harson says. "Further investigation of these matters continues and is still in progress."
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 27.
The state will seek the death penalty in both cases.
Lavergne, who was not present for the trial, was arrested two weeks ago. His white Chevrolet Z-71, which Lafayette Police say is the same one caught on surveillance cameras driving behind Shunick the night she disappeared, was discovered burned out in San Jacinto County, Texas.
Less than 20 hours later, Lavergne checked himself into a hospital near New Orleans. Deputies there say he was suffering from several stab wounds on his neck, back, chest, and hands.