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Surrey mom’s child-killing conviction upheld

Accused admitted smothering eight-year-old in living room ‘campout.'
The BC Court of Appeal has denied a petition for appeal by a Surrey woman convicted of second-degree murder in the death of her eight-year-old daughter. | artisteer/Getty Images
B.C.’s Court of Appeal October 22 rejected the appeal of a Surrey woman who admitted killing her sleeping eight year-old daughter Teagan by suffocating her with a plastic bag.

The main issue at trial was whether Lisa Deanne Batstone, then 41, had the intent needed for a second-degree murder conviction, a finding B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Murray made in March 2019.

The defence had argued for a manslaughter conviction.

Batstone was given a sentence of life in prison without parole eligibility for 15 years.

The death followed a tumultuous breakdown of Batstone’s marriage.

Teagan’s life ended December 9, 2014. Batstone had called her ex-husband, Gabe, that morning after which she dropped Teagan off with a neighbour, Katrina Fleming, who drove the girl to school each day.

Fleming said Teagan was in great spirits that morning. Batstone came in, said “Hi,” gave her a hug and left. Fleming noted nothing unusual about her.

Batstone then called in sick to her rehabilitation program.

That night they had a “campout” in the living room. Teagan slept on a mattress on the living room floor and Batstone on the couch.

Sometime that night, Batstone smothered Teagan, the court said.

“I deserve to go to jail or institution plus death penalty,” Batstone wrote that night, sitting by her daughter’s body. “I can’t believe I took my daughter’s life. I honestly believe that she’s in a better place now with Jesus.”

Then, Murray’s ruling said, “she put two bags over her head and secured them with duct tape to try to smother herself. She could not go through with it.”

She then put her daughter’s body in her car, and planned to go elsewhere and kill herself.

However, she got stuck in a ditch, drawing a first responder’s attention.

“When he was checking around the vehicle he heard a muffled voice saying ‘I’m in here,’” Murray said. “He opened the hatchback trunk. There he found the accused laying on her side cradling a young girl. The accused immediately said ‘I’ve killed her.’ She was sobbing.”

“The child was wearing a nightshirt and shorts. Her skin was mottled. She was cold. She had no pulse. Her limbs were very stiff. Rigor mortis had set in. She had been dead for some time,” Murray said.

When told she was under arrest, Batstone said, ““I murdered her.”

Murray said Batstone’s actions showed intent to kill.

The accused’s statements both voluntarily offered and given to police and doctors are consistent only with having meant to cause Teagan’s death and nothing else,” Murray said. “There is nothing either said or done by the accused after Teagan’s death that is inconsistent with this intention.”

The court of appeal’s three-judge panel agreed.

“The judge found that the appellant’s actions after she killed Teagan indicated no confusion of thought,” Justice Richard Goepel wrote in the decision. “She thus concluded these actions were consistent only with the intention to cause death.


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