LAFAYETTE — Evidence in the case of murder suspect Brandon Scott Lavergne in two killings includes statements he made in jail after the first death and statements to family members in June weeks after the second death, according to court filings this week by prosecutors.
Lavergne, a 33-year-old offshore worker from the Lawtell area, was indicted July 18 on two counts of first-degree murder in the 1999 death of Lisa Pate and the May 19 disappearance of Michaela “Mickey” Shunick, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who has not been found.
In court filings this week, prosecutors put Lavergne’s defense attorneys on notice of evidence that might be used a trial, including at least 16 statements Lavergne has allegedly made to others that could have some bearing on the case.
Prosecutors list three separate statements that Lavergne made related to Pate’s case while in jail from 2000 to 2008 on an unrelated aggravated oral sexual battery charge.
Pate’s body was found near Church Point in September 1999.
Fifteenth Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson confirmed that Lavergne had been a person of interest in the case as early as 2000 but had not been charged.
Prosecutors also put defense attorneys on notice of at least 13 other statements that Lavergne allegedly made that might be used as evidence in the Shunick case, including statements to his family members.
Prosecutors did not detail the content of those statements, the names of the persons to whom the statements were made or whether Lavergne admitted any wrongdoing in those statements.
The court filings from prosecutors list 36 separate warrants that have been secured in the investigation, some to search Lavergne’s vehicle and property — and other property near his home — and others seeking his financial and medical records.
According to a report from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lavergne had sought medical treatment at a hospital there the evening of May 19 for what he told detectives were wounds from an attack during a robbery in a parking lot.
That’s the same day Shunick disappeared after leaving a friend’s Ryan Street home near downtown Lafayette at 2 a.m. on her way to her parent’s house on Governor Miro.
Warrants were listed in the court filings for medical records from Jefferson Parish, from Opelousas General hospital near Lavergne’s home and from a doctor in Opelousas.
Prosecutors also allege in the court filings this week that Lavergne filed a fraudulent insurance claim for reimbursement after burning the pickup that police have said he was driving on the night Shunick disappeared.
About a week after Shunick’s disappearance, police released security footage that captured an image of a white Chevrolet Z71 pickup that traveled down a street near downtown shortly after Shunick was seen passing on her bicycle on May 19.
Police contend the truck was Lavergne’s and that he allegedly burned the vehicle in the Houston area and then reported it stolen on May 31.
Lavergne bought a nearly identical truck to replace the burned one, according to prosecutors.
Police said they were monitoring Lavergne’s movements after detectives received a tip about his truck on June 14.
Police have not provided details about how long they monitored Lavergne’s movements, but the court filings this week list warrants that were secured to place a tracking device on Lavergne’s truck.
While the prosecution moves forward, police continue to follow up leads that might lead to Shunick or additional evidence, said Lafayette police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton.
“Our investigators still have a lot of work to do on that case,” Mouton said.
Lavergne, who has pleaded not guilty, faces a possible death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder the case.
No future court dates have been set.