Statements South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone made to witnesses after her daughter was found dead and prior to being advised of her right to counsel have been accepted by the court as admissible in trial.
BC Prosecution Service spokesman Dan McLaughlin confirmed Justice Catherine Murray made the ruling in connection with the case in B.C. Supreme Court today (Friday).
“The voir dire has concluded and the judge ruled that the evidence was admissible,” McLaughlin told Peace Arch News by email.
The judge-alone proceedings began early last month. The court heard from witnesses including the officer who arrested Batstone after the body of her daughter, Teagan, was found in the trunk of a car in a cul-de-sac just south of Crescent Road shortly after noon on Dec. 10, 2014. Medical professionals who interacted with Batstone at Peace Arch Hospital following her arrest were also among witnesses.
Eight-year-old Teagan had been a student at Rosemary Heights Elementary.
The month after her death – after a court-ordered “fitness assessment” – her mother was deemed fit to stand trial on a charge of second-degree murder, however, the proceedings were delayed multiple times over the years.
Last month, witnesses recounted what they had been told of how Teagan died; and that her mother had said she “just wanted (Teagan) to be with Jesus.”
The witnesses also told the court that Batstone had said she killed her daughter to “protect” the youngster from her father – who the court heard Batstone had an “acrimonious” relationship with – and because she didn’t want Teagan to “have her (mother’s) brain.”
Dr. Douglas Maskall, a PAH psychiatrist, told the court that Batstone had struggled with mental health since her teens.
In a written statement provided to PAN after one court session last month, Teagan’s great-uncle Don McGibbon states that he and his family “had worried about Teagan’s safety for years ever since family courts gave custody back to the birth mother after she allegedly tried to kill herself.”
“Teagan was taken away from her loving father, the stepmom she adored and two wonderful brothers and put in harm’s way,” McGibbon wrote.
Batstone’s trial is set to begin on Nov. 13.