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.

 

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

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Elford’s support of budget surprising, considering his history in Surrey

The Doug Elford we knew as an advocate would have opposed budget that doesn’t hire more officers

Clayton townhouse projects sent back to staff over school capacity concerns

‘We’re really stressing out the school systems here’ says Surrey Councillor Steven Pettigrew

Surrey adds more parkland to its inventory

City aquired Campbell Heights property

Superheroes help police deliver toys to hospital in memory of Keian Blundell

Holiday Wish Toy Drive ‘a resounding success’ this year

Disappointment, frustration after Surrey council votes to approve budget

Decision means delay of Cloverdale rink, other capital projects, and no new cops to be hired next year

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Road to the World Juniors leads through B.C.

Finland plays Denmark on Wednesday, United States takes on Czech Republic on Saturday

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Most Read