LAFAYETTE — Brandon Lavergne, the convicted killer of two women, is filing a flurry of lawsuits from his solitary prison cell at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola claiming he’s been wrongly portrayed as a “sick, twisted, murderer.”
This past week the man who is serving two life sentences after confessing to the killings filed 12 federal lawsuits against those he claims have wronged and persecuted him.
The targets of Lavergne’s hand-written lawsuits, which are peppered with misspellings, include the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office, his ex-wife, Dateline NBC and a former prison cellmate.
Lavergne said the people and the institutions he is suing have all played a part in persecuting him and he wants money from all of them, including his sister, Brook Megan Broussard.
“Brook made a false statement to Texas and Louisiana law enforcement officials in July of 2012; that in 1999 I made an unwanted sexual advance on her while she was 7 months pregnant,” Lavergne wrote. “Brooks false statement caused me sever mental anguish, suffering and pain.”
Lavergne, 34, pleaded guilty in August 2012 to killing Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate. The guilty pleas to the first-degree murder charges got Lavergne life in prison with no chance of parole instead of the death penalty.
Shunick was a 21-year-old University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who disappeared while riding her bicycle in May 2012. Shunick’s case revived the investigation into Pate’s 1999 murder, where Lavergne had long been a suspect.
It wasn’t long after Lavergne started serving his sentence before he started filing motions that contained his declarations that he had been unfairly targeted. His state court motion in January asking a judge to void his guilty pleas failed, as have other attempts.
Lavergne has continued to act as his own attorney.
His latest endeavors are in federal civil court, with lawsuits filed against sheriff’s offices in Lafayette and Acadia parishes, his public defenders, the Lafayette Parish District Attorney’s Office, the Lafayette Police Department, his ex-wife, his sister, Dateline NBC, and others he contends wronged him over the years.
In the suit against his ex-wife, Lavergne said Lainey Vasseur Martinez falsely told police in late 1999 and early 2000 that he beat her, and that her statements against him have “evolved over the years to fit” what police have wanted her to say against him.
Lavergne’s suit against his former cellmate, Kent David Kloster, states the two swapped stories in a prison cell at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, where Lavergne was being processed for a long stay with the state Department of Corrections after a conviction in 2000 for aggravated oral sexual battery.
Lavergne writes Kloster, a two-decade prison veteran, “started bragging to me about his criminal exploits” that included bank robberies, kidnappings, murders and his affiliation with white supremacist groups.
“Out of fear for my person safety, and not wanting to loss face with the other prisoners by ‘checking out’ the cell I was in with Kloster I told him stories that I was a hit man with multiple ‘hits’ under my belt,” Lavergne wrote.
He said Kloster later told law enforcement officials in Lavergne’s home parish of Acadia a story about Lavergne torturing and killing a prostitute, a narrative that fit with details surrounding Pate’s murder in 1999.
Lavergne wrote that Kloster’s tale got him kicked out of a prison welding school, and got him indicted in 2012 in Pate’s murder. “His false statements made law enforcement officials and the district attorney believe I was a sick, twisted, murderer who had raped, torture and killed Lisa Pate.”
In his suit against the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lavergne states that after he was arrested in July 2012, he had chosen not to talk to law officials about Shunick.
“I had invoked the 5th,” Lavergne wrote, and the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center chaplain visited him after his arrest, “telling me that Jesus wanted me to tell the truth and I need to confess my sins.”
Lavergne said the chaplain brought another pastor. Both told him “I needed to let the holy spirit lead me and tell the truth.”
Lavergne said the chaplain was a deputy, and that her encouragement for him to talk after he told officials he was keeping quiet was a violation of his rights.
“Law enforcement officials used the chaplin to talk to me because they had no other way of speaking to me without being in danger of breaching the 5th Amendment,” Lavergne wrote.
Lavergne also is suing Dateline NBC for the content in its January episode that featured the Shunick and Pate killings.
Lavergne alleges that NBC stole his “intellectual property” and caused him pain and suffering.
“Dateline NBC profited from the thief of my photos that came from my personal computer and Apple iPhone and were disclosed without my permission or consent,” Lavergne wrote. “Further a image of my drivers license with the words SEX OFFENDER in bold orange letters on the license was aired.”