Aug 2, 2012 11:11 PM by Maddie Garrett

New Court Records Reveal What DA's Office Believes Happened in Shunick, Pate Murders

A new document was filed into court today in the case of the State of Louisiana versus Brandon Scott Lavergne. Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes filed a "Disclosure, Production, Notice to Defendant, and Request for State's Discovery". In it, he outlines what information is available to the defendant's attorneys, but the document also gives clues as to how the murder's of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate were investigated by police.

*Intent to seek death penalty:
The document clearly states prosecutors plan on seeking the death penalty for the murders of Pate and Shunick. Explaining why the death penalty is wanted, the filing claims that the murders were committed "in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner" and that Lavergne has "knowingly killed two or more persons" in separate incidents.

*At trial:
The state wants to have photographs of the victims, not larger than 8 x 10, introduced into evidence and displayed during the entire trial. The claim is that the victims, through photos, are entitled to be present at the trial.

*The DA's Office outlines what they think happened:
The court record filed by the DA's office claims the following information is fact: On or about July 3, 1999, Lavergne met Lisa Pate in Lafayette Parish. It is alleged Pate was persuaded or forced to another location, where she was forced, for her release, to "engage in non-consensual acts, and/or inflicted physical injury, and/or sexual abuse upon Lisa Pate." The document says Lavergne killed Pate and moved the evidence, including the body, "with the intent to distort the results of the criminal investigation."

The court record filed by the DA's office also claims the following information is fact: On or about May 19, 2012, Lavergne forcibly seized Mickey Shunick and carried her to another place where he refused to release her. It is alleged Lavergne "forced her to engage in non-consensual acts, and inflicted physical injury and/or sexual abuse". The document says Lavergne killed Mickey and moved evidence of the murder, including her body and belongings, "to locations with the intent to distort the results of the criminal investigation." Lavergne is also accused of obstruction of justice and the continued tampering of the body of Mickey Shunick. The state also adds that anyone knowing where Mickey's body may be could be charged with Accessories After the Fact.

In the filing, the state claims after Lavergne murdered Mickey, he moved his truck to an out-of-state location, where he intentionally destroyed it. The document alleges Lavergne did so to destroy evidence and distort the results of any criminal investigation. The truck was found May 31, 2012, and that's when Lavergne is accused of providing a false vehicle theft report and a fraudulent claim with State Farm Insurance. The state says Lavergne purchased an identical truck on June 4, 2012 in Lafayette, and in the process, altered his ID to hide the "sex offender" label on his license. Lavergne is also accused of contacting an official at the DMV, offering $500 to get an ID without the "sex offender" label.

*Evidence from the State:
Stutes outlines in the document what he is, and is not, required to turn over. Examples of items he says he doesn't have to give include names and address of witnesses or victims or anything that is public record.

Stutes will provide the initial reports, arrest warrants, search warrants, and the crime scene report. He'll also give the transcription of a voluntary statement Lavergne allegedly gave to a deputy in July after he was read his rights.

Stutes does, in this document, list off statements he has from Lavergne that were given to different people/entities. Included in the list are statements Lavergne allegedly made while in jail to different people, at Oschner's Hospital, to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, at Opelousas General, to the San Jacinto Sheriff's Office, to State Farm Insurance, and to family members. Other agencies or people listed as having given statements, are only listed as acronyms. The state says they aren't required to tell the defense what was told to them, only that the statements exist.

The state also lists all the search warrants they executed, including homes in Church Point, Crowley, Lafayette, Duson, and Lawtell. They've served search warrants for Lavergne's financial records, for vehicles belonging to Lavergne and others, medical records, a Church Point dumpster, and OnStar information. There are also two warrants to install tracking devices. One was from the 15th JDC in Lafayette; the other warrant was for the 2009 Silverado, belonging to Lavergne, from the 25th JDC in Plaquemines Parish.

The state also says they'll allow the defense to inspect/copy evidence that belonged to the defendant that they plan on using in trial. They'll also turn over results of any physical/mental examinations or scientific tests done in connection with this case.

Stutes does inform the defense he will be bringing up other crimes Lavergne committed, including his guilty plea of Aggravated Oral Sexual Battery in Evangeline Parish in 1999. The document claims the offense was similar, if not identical, to the Pate and Shunick cases, but without murder.

*Evidence the state requests:
The state requests the following from the defense:
1) any documents or tangible objects that they plan to use in the trial
2) reports of examinations and tests
3) mental condition, if the information is to be used in the trial
4) an alibi, if the defense plans on offering up one. It should include date, time, and names/addresses of witnesses.


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