LAFAYETTE, La. -- Two high-profile murder cases, one recent and one dating back 13 years, have been cleared with the arrest of one man, Brandon Lavergne, a convicted sex offender with a violent past.
A Lafayette grand jury formally charged Lavergne on Wednesday of killing Mickey Schunick, the ULL student who disappeared May 19 and whose body has yet to be found.
They also indicted him on murder charges for the killing of Lisa Pate, a name that made headlines back in 1999. Her body was found three months later in a field near Church Point in Acadia Parish.
In 1999, two months before Laverne allegedly killed Pate, he tied up, blindfolded and sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman.
For that, he served eight years in prison, but not before marrying a woman in September 1999 and allegedly beating and trying to suffocate her. He was never arrested in that case and the couple divorced while he was in prison.
Laverne was on probation until this past February. In May, he allegedly kidnapped and killed Shunick.
The day she disappeared he sought treatment at a New Orleans hospital with stab wounds to his chest, back, neck and hand.
'We've been waking for a little bit over two months to get some closure on this, and it still isn't closed. They haven't found the body. So if the body is out there somewhere, hopefully now with being charged with something else, maybe he'll come clean and tell people where the body is,' said Mickey Shunick's father, Tom Shunick.
Prosecutors said they'll ask for the death penalty in both cases.
Pate's case was one of several unsolved murders of women in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette area dating back to the mid-90s.