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Tue January 8, 2013

Lafayette Inmate Seeks to Void Guilty Pleas in Shunick Case

Brandon Scott Lavergne has asked a judge to void his guilty pleas in August to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.

Lavergne entered the pleas less than two months after his arrest in a high-profile investigation that began May 19, when Shunick, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student, disappeared while riding her bicycle home from downtown Lafayette.

The Shunick case revived an older investigation into the 1999 death of Pate, and Lavergne, who had long been a suspect in the older killing.

The Advocate reports Lavergne has filed hand-written court motions seeking to void the pleas and the life sentence.

Lavergne now alleges he felt pressured to plead guilty because he faced a possible death penalty.

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