- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has again refused to hear a request to overturn Brandon Lavergne’s guilty pleas to two murders, including that of 21-year-old university student Mickey Shunick.

Lavergne’s case was among four requests for reconsideration rejected Friday without comment.

He is serving life sentences for the deaths of Shunick in August 2012 and 35-year-old Lisa Pate in 1999. He acted as his own attorney, the Supreme Court Clerk of Court’s Office has said.

Lavergne pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in August 2012, less than two months after his arrest in Shunick’s death. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette student disappeared while riding her bicycle home from downtown Lafayette.

The Shunick case revived an older investigation into Pate’s death and Lavergne, who had long been a suspect in that killing.

As part of the plea agreement, Lavergne told investigators where to find Shunick’s body in rural Evangeline Parish and confessed to killing her.

Lavergne appealed in January 2013, saying he felt pressured to plead guilty because he faced a possible death penalty. He also claimed that did not think he could defend himself adequately in the light of extensive pre-trial news coverage, some of which he alleged was stoked by information leaked by authorities.

The state appeal court in Lake Charles rejected his appeal in September 2013.


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