Brandon Scott Lavergne, the man convicted of killing Mickey Shunick last year, and Lisa Pate in 1998 is now appealing those convictions from his cell in Angola.
Lavergne recently sent two letters to the Lafayette Parish Courthouse claiming there were multiple things that played against him in his double life sentence conviction. Everything from media leaks, to a tainted grand jury, and a diminished mental state at the time of his plea deal.
The most recent of filings Lavergne sent to the Lafayette Parish Courthouse was January 2nd. The handwritten, 11 page document shows Lavergne definitely received help creating it. In it he claims multiple factors led to the violation of his constitutional rights to due process after his arrest led to the tainted plea agreement and two life sentences he received.
He starts off by claiming prosecutors had no grounds to merge the Lisa Pate case which was presented first to the grand jury tainting it before they heard the Shunick case.
His second claim of violation by investigators is the leaking of sensitive evidence that led to a media firestorm.
Saying the leak of drivers licenses found fueled speculation in the media and jury pool that he was a quote a serial killer, who was collecting trophies, and out looking for a victim.
His third accusation was mistreatment by prison officials on top of personal issues which led to a diminished mental state.
Saying he was put in solitary confinement stripped naked and placed on suicide watch without a mattress to lay on even though made no threat to hurt himself.
He also claims he was given no privileges like personal hygiene products, writing material, or recreational time with prison officials telling him he would remain in solitary confinement until his trial in a couple of years.
The fourth and final of Lavergne's claims say his defense team abandoned him. Specifically when he was interrogated in an unmarked police unit while driving around Lafayette, Acadia, and Evangeline Parishes looking for Shunick's body.
Writing they abandoned him during the interrogation they had advised him to cooperate in.
We spoke with Assistant District Attorney Danny Landry who worked the case. Landry says Lavergne's two filings were incomplete and improperly filed thus both were denied.
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