Tue, Feb 5, 2013
According to The Advertiser, Fifteenth Judicial District Judge Herman Clause has given prosecutors a deadline to respond to a host of post-trial motions filed by Brandon Scott Lavergne, the convicted killer of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.
In an order filed Friday, Clause instructed the District Attorney’s office to file written responses to Lavergne’s motions, setting a deadline of Feb. 15.
Clause wrote that he signed the order “to assist the court in addressing the defendant’s requests and in order to insure representation by both the state and the defense.”
Lavergne pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to the murders of Shunick in May and Pate in 1999, and is serving a life sentence at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
In December, he asked Clause to overturn his guilty pleas, claiming numerous errors were made by his court-appointed defense attorneys, prosecutors and police. Clause rejected the motions Jan. 2 on a technicality.
Clause ordered Lavergne’s motions returned to him with the proper documents, suggesting he re-submit them in the proper format.
Eight new motions were filed by Lavergne in January requesting a variety of things, including the names of grand jury witnesses; the search warrant police possessed when they removed his iPhone from his truck while arresting him July 5; copies of his sentencing transcript and pre-trial motions; and the transcript of a secretly recorded meeting with his ex-wire while he was jailed in 2004 on an unrelated conviction.
Lavergne was indicted by a Lafayette Parish grand jury July 18 in connection with the murders of Shunick and Pate. Prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty if he were convicted.
But Lavergne reached an agreement with prosecutors Aug. 7 in exchange for life in prison and told detectives where to find Shunick’s remains.
Shunick had disappeared May 19 while riding her bike in Lafayette around 2 a.m.
Pate, who lived in Lafayette Parish, disappeared in 1999 and her body was found near Church Point in Acadia Parish in September 1999. Lavergne was a suspect, but an Acadia grand jury failed to indict him in 2008.