The lawyer for a South Surrey woman accused of killing her own daughter last week says his client’s mental health casts doubt on whether a trial on her second-degree murder charge can proceed.
“It’s a very serious concern,” Craig Sicotte said outside Surrey Provincial Court Thursday morning, of Lisa Deanne Batstone’s condition.
“Miss Batstone’s mental state is very fragile. Without an assurance that she’s fit to stand trial, this can’t proceed any further.”
Batstone is charged with second-degree murder after being arrested Dec. 10 at the scene of what was first thought to be a minor traffic incident. The body of eight-year-old Teagan Batstone was found in the trunk of the car.
In court, at Sicotte’s request and as family and friends of the accused listened, Judge Donald Gardner ordered a “fitness assessment” of the mother and set her next court appearance for Jan. 5.
Lisa Batstone’s father, Barry Hamilton, was in court Thursday, but “gratefully declined” to comment publicly. During the proceedings, he exchanged blown kisses with his distraught daughter and gestured towards his heart.
Friends of Lisa Batstone also did not want to comment publicly, except to say that the 41-year-old “was so loved.”
Another commented that the mother “was head over heels for Teagan.”
Sicotte told reporters he knows of “nothing to indicate anything other than she was a loving, devoted mother.”