The trial of a South Surrey mother charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of her eight-year-old daughter nearly one year ago is still nowhere near ready to be scheduled, the woman’s lawyer confirmed.
“Not at this point, for sure,” Craig Sicotte told Peace Arch News Wednesday at Surrey Provincial Court.
Lisa Deanne Batstone has been in custody at a psychiatric hospital since her daughter Teagan’s body was discovered in the back of a car in a cul-de-sac just south of Crescent Road last Dec. 10.
Following a court appearance a week later, at which a “fitness assessment” was ordered for Batstone, Sicotte told reporters that his client’s mental health was “a very serious concern” that cast doubt on whether a trial could proceed.
In January, however, Batstone was deemed fit to stand trial.
Sicotte said this week that he continues to pore over “literally thousands of pages” of disclosure associated with the case, which he described as “so tragic”.
Teagan Batstone was a Grade 3 student at Rosemary Heights Elementary in South Surrey at the time of her death.
At a celebration of her life held one week later, she was remembered as “a hugger” with an “infectious excitement.”
“She lit up our hearts with her smile, her love, her hugs,” White Rock Baptist Church Pastor Ellis André told attendees.
“Not too many people hug me, but I got a hug from Teagan.”
Sicotte told PAN his client’s family continues to be supportive of Batstone.
At the same time, Teagan’s paternal family in Ontario has established a national non-profit advocacy organization in response to the youngster’s death.
According to the website for Teagan’s Voice, it is focused on “driving policy and procedural change across federal and provincial boundaries to prevent violence against children.”
Batstone’s next court appearance is set for Dec. 15.