Dateline NBC investigated the disappearance of 21-year-old Michaela “Mickey” Shunick of Lafayette, Louisiana. She was last seen listening to live music at a bar on a Friday night in May 2012. According to Dateline, “There were no obvious suspects” and “no real evidence of foul play.” A week after her disappearance, footage from a surveillance camera surfaced. It showed Mickey on her bicycle and then a white pickup truck driving into the frame as it followed Mickey.
The truck belonged to Brandon Scott Lavergne, a registered sex offender who was driving around town calling escort services. When he saw Shunick he intentionally hit her bike and insisted that she get in the truck. A physical fight ensued. Mickey sprayed Lavergne with Mace and stabbed her attacker repeatedly until Lavergne fatally shot Shunick in the head. In August 2012, Lavergne eventually pleaded guilty to the murder of Shunick and to the 1999 murder of 33-year-old Lisa Pate also in Lafayette, Louisiana, in exchange for life in prison, to avoid the death penalty. Just five months after his plea deal, in January 2013, Lavergne asked a judge to vacate the guilty pleas claiming his court-appointed lawyers wrongly advised him to plead guilty to the murders. The Supreme Court of the United States declined a review of Lavergne’s request to overturn the guilty pleas. Dateline NBC airs Fridays at 10pm.