A 33-year-old offshore oil worker and registered sex offender pleaded guilty this morning to killing two Louisiana women in separate murders about 13 years apart, KPEL reported.
Brandon Scott Lavergne will spend the rest of his life in prison for slaying University of Louisiana college student Mickey Shunick in May and choking to death 35-year-old Lisa Ann Pate in 1999, according to KATC.
Prosecutors had announced they would seek the death penalty against him, but softened the punishment last week after Lavergne agreed to help authorities locate Shunick's remains. Her badly decomposed body was found near a cemetery on Aug. 7, the Advocate reported.
Lavergne provided prosecutors with a detailed recollection of the murders. The grim details of his confessions were presented in the Lafayette courtroom today.
As Shunick pedaled her bike home late at night in Lafayette on May 19, Lavergne said that he followed close behind in his white GMC truck. He knocked the 21-year-old off the bicycle by ramming her and then convinced or forced her to ride with him, according to prosecutor Keith Stutes. In the cab, Shunick fought to get free. She sprayed Lavergne with Mace and stabbed him with his knife. Lavergne recovered the blade and stabbed her four times, believing that he'd killed her, the Advertiser reported.
Lavergne attempted to get rid of Shunick in an isolated field, but, revived, she again took his knife and stabbed him in the chest. He then shot her and took her lifeless body home before burying it near an Evangeline Parish graveyard.
He threw her bike from a bridge, which was later found, and traveled to a hospital to get his stab wounds patched up.
Lavergne -- who has a previous conviction for aggravated sexual assault -- was arrested on July 5 after his burned out truck was found in Texas and authorities identified it as the one from surveillance footage following behind Shunick.
The Advertiser reported that Lavergne wrote a letter to Shunick's parents. Her father carried it with him, but said he had not read it.
Lavergne pleaded not guilty last month, but felt the desire to come clean after seeing Shunick's relatives on television, his lawyer said.
Stutes also revealed the details of Pate's killing. Pate and Lavergne met at a hotel in Lafayette in 1999 and spent several days together, but he refused to allow her to leave. When he caught her attempting to take his keys and wallet to leave, Lavergne used a plastic bag to smother Pate, KPEL said.