In probably the only move left to him, Brandon Scott Lavergne pled guilty today to the murders of Michaela “Mickey” Shunick and Lisa Pate.  And, in doing so, he revealed the heartbreaking story of how everything went down on that fateful night back in May when Shunick went missing — and on another night in 1999 when he killed Lisa.

Not only is Lavergne going to jail for life — avoiding the death penalty — for the first-degree murders of Lisa Pate and Mickey Shunick, but now it’s believed he may have killed yet another girl. KPEL NewsRadio in Lafayette reports that Lavergne stayed stone-faced as he entered the courtroom today, even as reporters barraged him with questions.

Lavergne was in court today for an evidentiary hearing, but apparently while he was there, he went ahead and changed his the ‘not guilty’ plea he made roughly three weeks ago.  KPEL also confirmed speculations that it was Lavergne who showed police where to find Shunick’s body.  Lavergne was checked out of jail hours before the discovery — apparently that same day, he had agreed to confess and plead guilty, according to court documents.


Mickey Shunick

15th Judicial District Court documents (housed on KATC-TV 3′s website) reveal what happened to Shunick on May 19, the night she disappeared.

Shunick left a friend’s home at about 1:46 a.m. on her bike.  Two minutes later, Lavergne’s white Z71 Chevy started to follow her.  He had been “driving around Lafayette, and had been using his cell phone to make several calls to escort services,” according to court documents.

At that point, Lavergne struck Shunick’s bike with his truck and insisted she get in the truck.  He somehow “enticed or persuaded” her to get in.  The bike was placed in the bed of his truck.  The two drove off and Shunick tried to use her cell phone to call for help.  Lavergne took out a knife and threatened her.  She responded by spraying Mace at him.  She then fought him off, took his knife and proceeded to stab him several times with it.  The court documents read:

(Lavergne) tried to grab the knife from Mickey, cutting tendons in his hand and/or fingers.  Mickey fought with the much larger and stronger defendant who succeeded in taking the knife from Mickey.  (Lavergne) then stabbed (her) at least four times and she fell over. [source]

Lavergne then drove to a cane field in Acadia Parish 30-40 minutes away, intending to dump her body and escape.

Suddenly, Mickey jumped up, with (Lavergne’s) knife she had regained possession of and lunged at (Lavergne), stabbing him again in the chest.  (Lavergne) pulled his semi-automatic handgun, which he had armed himself with, and shot Mickey in the head, killing her instantly. [source]

He then drove her body to the place in Evangeline Parish where it was eventually found, but he could not dig a grave for her due to his injuries.  Instead, he covered her with debris and left.  He then began destroying evidence and tending to his wounds, eventually driving to a friend’s house in New Orleans and getting medical treatment.  He also burned her bookbag and other evidence.

Lavergne would also deposit her bike in Whiskey Bay east of Lafayette and then torch his own truck in San Jacinto County, Texas.  He then purchaed ANOTHER white Z71 truck to attempt to throw people off his trail.  By the start of July, police were secretly looking at Lavergne very closely, and a traffic stop in Lafayette gave them the opportunty to make an arrest.  Lavergne is a registered sex offender but had altered his driver’s license to hide that fact.


lisa pate and mickey shunick

Lisa Pate and Mickey Shunick (Photo provided by 973thedawg)

Lisa Pate’s body was found in 1999 near Church Point.  According to court documents, investigators believe he kidnapped Pate before killing her.  The two met in June of that year and later the two met at a Lafayette hotel and then later traveled to an area “outside Lafayette.”  The documents state that investigators believe the two were together “for several days” before Pate asked to return to Lafayette to see her children.  Lavergne refused.  Pate tried to steal his keys while Lavergne slept, but he woke up and choked her to death with a plastic bag.  The court documents read:







The defendant tackled Lisa and beat her about the face and bloodied her face and nose.  (Lavergne) chocked Lisa … (and) acted with an intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm … Lisa died shortly after the attack by (Lavergne). [source]

Lavergne then moved her body to a location in Acadia Parish behind “a former acquaintance’s house” and covered her with pieces of wood.  Police found fragments of the plastic bag around her head.  Lavergne later ended up in jail after a sexual assault case and told a a fellow inmate about Pate’s murder.



Earlier this week, KPEL NewsRadio in Lafayette reported that yet another case of a missing girl could possibly be tied to Lavergne.  Ali Lowitzer, a 16-year-old from Texas, went missing in April 2010.  The family believes Lavergne could be involved:


Mac Sanford, a private investigator hired by the family, says he received tips from people who say they saw a white truck similar to that of Lavergne’s.“We had two tips come in saying two separate times, both of them saying a white domestic Chevy truck with a male driver trying to lure in Ali 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.


Lavergne has a sister in Conroe, Texas, and a private investigator looking into the case said it’s known that Lavergne spent a lot of time in Texas over the past several years.  It’s possible that the trail of devastation left by Brandon Scott Lavergne has side roads that we can’t even imagine.

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