Lisa Batstone (inset) is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her daughter Teagan.

Mother accused in daughter’s death said ‘I murdered her,’ officer tells court

Recording of sobbing woman played in court, after eight-year-old’s body found in South Surrey in 2014

A South Surrey mother charged with the December 2014 death of her eight-year-old daughter cried in court Wednesday as her lawyer questioned the officer who had arrested her that fateful afternoon.

“After you took (Lisa) Batstone away from her vehicle, are you aware if she ever saw her child again?” defence counsel Tony Paisana asked Const. Elizabeth Cucheran.

Batstone – who appeared in court in ankle shackles – is charged with second-degree murder 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.

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 the murder charge, however, the proceedings were delayed multiple times over the years.

READ MORE: Child’s body found in car trunk in South Surrey, woman arrested

READ MORE: Teagan’s ‘infectious excitement’ celebrated in South Surrey tribute

READ MORE: South Surrey mother’s murder trial delayed again

Judge-alone proceedings underway in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster this month are to determine if statements Batstone made to various witnesses prior to being advised of her right to counsel are admissible in trial, defence co-counsel Eric Gottardi told Peace Arch News.

Wednesday, the court heard that Batstone told Cucheran at the cul-de-sac scene – in the 13900-block of 35A Avenue – that she had killed her daughter. The statement came after Cucheran told Batstone she was “under arrest for impaired driving,” Cucheran said, in response to questions from Paisana regarding the officer’s interactions with Batstone.

“…then she said, ‘I murdered her,’ and I said, ‘and murder?’ – in that tone,” Cucheran said, referring to an intonation of surprise and questioning she put into her voice in repeating the statement in court.

Asked why she remembered the tone of her voice, Cucheran said she was “so shocked,” as she wondered whether it was a case of manslaughter over an intentional death.

Throughout questioning, Cucheran maintained she read Batstone her rights, did not try to elicit information from Batstone about what had happened, and that the accused understood she was not obligated to speak to the officer.

The court also heard recordings made at Peace Arch Hospital of a sobbing Batstone repeatedly telling police, “I just want to die.”

“Please. There’s nothing to live for.”

The recording also included statements by Batstone that her church had “let us down, too.”

“I begged them for help – for weeks, months,” she can be heard telling Cucheran, after Cucheran advised Batstone that a friend had called police earlier out of concern for her.

Batstone also said she had called her family doctor asking to see a psychiatrist “weeks and weeks and weeks ago.”

Cucheran, reading from notes she made that afternoon, said a psychiatrist who spoke to Batstone at PAH told the officer Batstone was “not psychotic, but highly suicidal.”

Justice Catherine Murray heard that on the day in question, police were first asked to do a “well-being check” on Batstone around noon as a result of a 911 call, after the mother reportedly sent “concerning emails.” A second 911 call about 20 minutes later reported a dead child, Cucheran confirmed to Paisana.

Cucheran agreed that when she arrived at the scene, firefighters were standing at the back hatch of a vehicle in a ditch.

“You heard someone say that the child was deceased?” Paisana said.

“Yes,” Cucheran said.

Cucheran confirmed that Batstone was lying down in the back of the vehicle, holding her child.

The officer said she initially detained Batstone “for investigation.”

“My initial thought was something was awry,” she told the court.

After noticing an odour of liquor, she arrested Batstone for impaired driving.

Asked if she recalled Batstone repeating the words, “I killed her, I killed her,” on the way to the police vehicle, Cucheran said she couldn’t recall.

A member of Teagan’s family who was in court for Wednesday’s proceedings told PAN he did not want to make a public statement at this time.

The proceedings were expected to continue throughout this week and for “a couple days” next week. It is to “move directly into trial at the conclusion of those hearings,” BC Prosecution Service spokesman Dan McLaughlin told PAN.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Photos of eight-year-old Teagan Batstone are displayed amongst flowers and balloons at her December 2014 celebration of life. (File photo)

Just Posted

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

  • Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scratch & Win ticket

High-risk sex offender living in Chilliwack back in court

Former mayor and residents wanted James Conway gone from residential neighbourhood two years ago

Court orders Hope-area First Nation council to accept long-contested memberships

Federal judge rules Peters Band Council acted “irrationally, unreasonably” in rejecting applications

KAAC won’t back Kent’s Teacup properties plans

Public consultation meeting is on March 10 at District Hall

Students in the Fraser East work hard, need more mental health support

McCreary Centre releases stats from 2018 that show trends among students

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read