Judge dismisses Lavergne’s suit against newspaper

A judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit filed against The Advocate by convicted killer Brandon Scott Lavergne.

Lavergne, who is serving two life sentences for the murders of Lisa Pate and Michaela “Mickey” Shunick, accused the newspaper in July of libel and slander related to a June 29 article about Lavergne filing several lawsuits against those he claims have portrayed him as a “sick, twisted murderer.”

U.S. District Judge James Brady dismissed Lavergne’s lawsuit against the Advocate on Aug. 15 on the grounds Lavergne, who is representing himself, did not submit his legal claim on the proper form.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice, meaning Lavergne can refile it in the future.

Lavergne asked for damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering, alleging the June 29 story inaccurately reported that he had confessed to the two murders.

Lavergne pleaded guilty in August 2012 to the murders of Shunick in May 2012 and Pate in July 1999 as part of an agreement to avoid the death penalty, but in the lawsuit, he disputed the use of the term “confessed.”

The lawsuit was among several Lavergne filed in recent months, including claims against his sister, his ex-wife, the Lafayette and Acadia Parish sheriff’s offices and the NBC television show “Dateline,” which aired a story in January about the Pate and Shunick killings.