The guilty plea finally solved the Pate murder, for which Acadia Parish authorities said Lavergne was always a suspect, and brought the killer of Shunick to justice faster than most people ever would have suspected.
“If all my cases went from arrest to a guilty pleas this quickly my life would be much easier,” said Lead Prosecutor Keith Stutes with a small grin.
However, the day was also a somber one as the families of both victims were present and hugs and tears flowed freely amongst the victims families.
One of the more moving parts of Friday morning’s hearing was Lavergne’s own confession to the Shunick murder and how valiantly Mickey fought back after he had abducted her.
In his own confession, Lavergne admitted to following Mickey in his white Chevrolet Z71 pickup down St. Landry (where the now infamous video was caught Mickey being followed by the same make and model truck) and struck her with his truck in between the residential area at the end of St. Landry and Blackham Coliseum where a large field separates the two areas. He knocked her off of her bicycle and Mickey was either enticed or forced into Lavergne’s truck. Her damaged bike, which was discovered in Whiskey Bay two weeks later, was placed in the bed of the truck. As they drove away Mickey grabbed her cell phone to call for help. When Lavergne grabbed the cell phone and pulled a knife on her, Mickey sprayed Lavergne in the face with mace. Mickey fought off Lavergne and was successful in retrieving the knife from him and stabbed him several times in what were later termed as life threatening wounds. However, the larger defendant eventually wrestled the knife from Mickey and stabbed her four times until she lay motionless.
The defendant then drove Mickey’s motionless body to a northern area of Acadia Parish to dispose of the body. Suddenly Mickey jumped up and stabbed Lavergne once more time in the chest. He then pulled out a handgun and shot Mickey in the head, killing the 21-year-old ULL student instantly.
Kristan Kordecki, who read a brief statement from the Shunick family, said that when Mickey was her family referred to her as "Mighty Mick."
“Now we will always remember her by that nickname,” Kordecki from the Shunick’s statement. “I will never refer to my daughter as a victim.”
In the 1999 Pate case, Lavergne admitted to meeting Lisa Pate in Lafayette. They met again in a Lafayette motel. He again either enticed or forced Lisa to go with him to a location outside of Lafayette where (as he later bragged to other inmates) he kept her for several days and at one point Lisa asked to go home. He refused and later caught her trying to take his keys and his wallet. He attacked her and choked her to death. Fellow inmates that he had admitted the crime to said that Lavergne told them he choked a girl with a plastic bag over her head. When Lisa’s body was found there were remnants of a plastic bag around Lisa’s skull.
Crowley Attorney Clay LeJeune who represented Lavergne stated that in recent days he ‘seemed to feel ‘genuine remorse and even sent a letter to she Shunick family.’
According to the Shunick’s, that letter has never been opened.
An acquaintance of Mickey’s disputed this, however, and shouted ‘he was just to much of a wimp to go through what Mickey and Lisa went through. Another shouted ‘he know’s where he’ll wind up if he died.”
Lavergne is also a suspect in a murder of a 15-year-old girl from Texas. When asked if the plea would stand if any other cases involving Lavergne were to come up in the future, Assistant District Attorney Roger Hamilton who helped Stutes prosecute the case replied "the deal is only for the crimes he committed in the 15th Judicial District."
The Texas case is under investigation.