New Court Documents Have Been Released Showing All Evidence In Mickey Shunick Case
New documents have been released by the Lafayette Police Department. They show the evidence that was used against Brandon Scott Lavergne dealing with the murder of Mickey Shunick. With help from our newspartners at KATC, we are able to bring the details to you.
When it was reported that Mickey's bike was located under the Whiskey Bay Bridge, the bike was located on May 26, 2012. Two fishermen had found it and took it home with them to Sunset, intending to take it in for scrap. They called police the next morning when they realized that it was possible that the bike was Mickey Shunick's. Lafayette Police went to the scene and later found the handgrips from the bike that had been removed. In addition, they were able to unlock the padlock on the bike using a combination that belonged to Mickey.
Many have wondered how Lafayette Police were put on the trail of Brandon Scott Lavergne. According to an incident report that was taken on May 31, police got a tip from the family of Lavergne's then fiancee. The member of the family that made the call indicated that Lavergne owned a white Z71 truck. The caller also indicated that Lavergne had been injured in what was called a stabbing in New Orleans on May 19th. The caller also said that Lavergne had not used the truck since the incident and had also thrown away a bloody shirt in a dumpster at a family member's home. The dumpster was emptied before police had heard about it. Police had also heard from another member of the family a few days previous to that.
The reports about Lavergne's truck stemmed from a June 4th report from a worker at Don's Wholesale. The worker told police about Lavergne's attempt to buy a truck. She said that Lavergne had told her that his truck was stolen in Houston. She also mentioned that Lavergne's arm was bandaged and it "freaked her out." The worker mentioned that Lavergne had a cut on his finger as well and that he was a registered sex offender from Church Point. Upon follow up with another employee, they mentioned that Lavergne had said he cut his finger while fishing.
The police got another tip on June 13, telling them that Lavergne's truck now had a paper plate from Don's Wholesale that was odd. The task force was notified the next day. Later that day, police ran a history of insurance claims for Lavergne and found out that he reported his truck had been stolen from his sister's house in Conroe, Texas. The burned out vehicle was found later in San Jacinto County in Texas. Reports showed that Lavergne had been paid in full for the truck from State Farm. Fire marshals mentioned that tires had been placed inside and outside the truck. The doors had been left open on the passenger side of the truck to accelerate the fire inside the truck.
Things continued to move that day as police got statements from employees at Don's Wholesale. One said that Lavergne flirted with her, and told her that her pants fit well. He had also reportedly told another worker that his truck had been stolen and he tried to give them a license plate that had been altered when buying the truck from them. She said she noticed that he had tried to hide the words "sex offender" from his license. She made a copy and presented it to police. The employee also noticed that his arm was bandaged and that he had cuts on the back of his triceps. A third employee mentioned that Lavergne had become nervous when she began to talk about the Shunick case. She said that he seemed like he was in a hurry after he noticed that the news had new information about the case.
The police met with the family of Lavergne's fiancee on June 18 and talked for just over 30 minutes.
Two days later, Lavergne's cell phone records were gone over. Police say he was actively trying to contact sexual escort services from May 18th through early morning hours on the 19th. He had made 24 calls to the escort services.
Police said that they heard from employees at John R. Young Chevy in Eunice on June 21st. The employees said that Lavergne wanted to replace the entire leather interior of his truck and asked for a quote. They said that Lavergne had not called back for an appointment. Further checking of cell phone records show that he had called another upholstery shop after hearing back from workers at Young Chevrolet.
Police then got records from Opelousas Generall Hospital on June 22. The records said that he was treated at the hospital for a cut on his right pinky finger. Records further showed that blood work was done on May 23rd for a surgery that had been scheduled on May 25th. That didn't happen because the records also showed that Lavergne had poison ivy. The surgery happened on May 29th and it was done to repair a tendon in his finger.
Police obtained a search warrant for Lavergne's dental records on June 27. Police were told he was getting routine dental work performed on his braces. Also obtained were records from Lavergne's stay at Ochsner Medical Center near New Orleans. Lavergne was driven to the hospital by a friend at about 3:51 p.m., the records indicate. He was suffering from multiple stab wounds, including several to his neck and right shoulder. Lavergne was released the next day on May 20. It was later learned Lavergne took pictures of himself while he was hospitalized.
The same day, Lavergne's fiance's father met with investigators. He told them Lavergne had purchased a truck identical to the one he had owned. At the time, Lavergne told him, "I didn't know human blood smelt so bad." He then told him how he was stabbed in New Orleans while trying to pump gas.
On June 29, police executed a search warrant to search Lavergne's home in Church Point. Among the items they found were a donated suitcase, and two wallets, one of which belonged to a person who died from natural causes. The other belonged to his sister who had lived with him for an unknown period of time.
Investigators also questioned employees at Jim Tatman's Mobile Homes in Carencro. Police were told Lavergne purchased a mobile home from them using an altered license concealing his sex offender status.
On July 5, records indicate police installed tracking equipment on Lavergne's truck while he was offshore. When he came back onshore, Lavergne was followed, pulled over, and arrested on I-10 for altering his driver's license. During interrogation, police asked him about his whereabouts on the night of May 19. Lavergne said he didn't recall, but when told police know about his visit at the New Orleans hospital, his replied, "Oh yeah." Investigators began questioning him about the Mickey Shunick case. Police say the phone number of Mickey's mother was found on an envelope in his truck, and there was evidence he was searching for information on the case on his iPhone. At this point, Lavergne asked for an attorney.
The same day he was arrested, police also interviewed Lavergne's sister. She said Lavergne had told her his truck had been involved in a shooting, and he needed to get rid of it. She followed him to a remote spot in San Jacinto County, Texas. A short time later, she said she saw a large flame and Lavergne running towards her car. He also coached her on what to tell police--that he was asleep at home the entire evening. He told her he hurt himself at work, but when she saw the stab wounds, he told her he was attacked in New Orleans. She continued to go along with this story because Lavergne agreed to forgive a $300 debt she owed. His sister said she didn't know anything about the Shunick case until he was arrested.
Lavergne's nephew also told police he was asked to retrieve Lavergne's cell phone from the truck. In the process, he noticed about 12 scratch marks on the seat.
On July 5, police spoke with the person who drove Lavergne to the hospital. That person said he was told Lavergne was stabbed by two friends. He wanted to go to a New Orleans hospital so they wouldn't get in trouble. This friend also noticed a large amount of blood on Lavergne's center console and that Lavergne was wearing a clean shirt and had band-aids covering his wounds.
On July 9, police served a search warrant at the Opelousas doctor's office where Lavergne's "spotty" poison ivy and lacerated finger were treated. Staff there say Lavergne had told them he was jumped by three men on Bourbon Street. Another employee says he told him he was attacked at a gas station near the Super Dome.
On July 12, 2012, police reviewed Lavergne's text messages and say he offered a DMV official $500 to get him a driver's license without the sex offender notification on it.
Cell phones records support the police department's claims that he was in Lafayette the morning Mickey went missing, then went back to his home that same morning. He drove to New Orleans the afternoon of May 19 and drove back to his fiance's home in Acadia Parish on May 20.