LAFAYETTE — The Advocate is the target of the most recent civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Baton Rouge by convicted killer Brandon Scott Lavergne.
Lavergne, who is serving two life sentences for the deaths of Lisa Pate and Michaela “Mickey” Shunick, accuses the newspaper of libel and slander related to a June 29 story published about his filing of a dozen civil lawsuits in federal court against those he claims have portrayed him as a “sick, twisted murderer.”
In the handwritten lawsuit filed Wednesday, Lavergne seeks punitive damages for “mental anguish, pain and suffering” and a cease and desist order against the newspaper. He claims three “slanderous and inaccurate statements” were published in the June 29 story: one, that he confessed to the murders of both women; another, that he acknowledged guilt in the Pate murder; and a third, quoting statements his former cellmate made to investigators.
Lavergne pleaded guilty in August to the slayings of Shunick in May 2012 and Pate in July 1999 as part of an agreement to avoid the death penalty.
In his lawsuit, Lavergne says he did not confess to either murder and never acknowledged “actual guilt” in Pate’s death. He also claims the former cellmate’s statements are not true.
In the past two weeks, Lavergne has filed lawsuits against his sister, his ex-wife, the Lafayette and Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Offices and the NBC television show “Dateline,” which aired a story about the Pate and Shunick killings in January.