Published Wednesday, September 25, 2019 12:55PM PDT
A B.C. woman found guilty this spring in the second-degree murder of her young daughter intends to appeal the decision, the Crown confirms.
Lisa Batstone learned earlier this month that she’d serve at least 15 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
On Wednesday, Crown counsel confirmed a notice of appeal against both that sentence and the initial verdict had been filed.
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The court heard Batstone smothered her daughter Teagan in 2014, a cause of death not disputed by her defence.
Teagan’s body was found in the back of a car in South Surrey on Dec. 10. The Crown said she’d been smothered with a plastic bag as she slept, and argued her death was motivated in part by Batstone’s resentment of the girl’s father.
Batstone pleaded not guilty at the start of her trial by judge alone. In the notice, Batstone’s defence lists her grounds for her appeal.
“The trial judge misapprehended evidence central to her decision to convict,” the document obtained by CTV News reads.
“The trial judge relied on speculation to make critical findings of fact.”
Her lawyers say the judge failed to treat Batstone’s mental illness as a significant factor when determining her sentence.
They request Batstone be granted a new trial, or be convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter. If no changes are made to her conviction, her lawyers seek a lesser sentence.
Reading her sentencing verdict on Sept. 3, Justice Catherine Murray said the decision to kill Teagan was “deliberate, systematic, focused, purposeful and goal-oriented… This decision must send a message that children cannot be used as pawns in marital disputes.”
Batstone was sentenced to at least 15 years, and was given a lifetime ban on firearms.
Her lawyer said at the time that Batstone was disappointed with the verdict. The defence had asked for 10 to 12 years in prison, and suggested during the trial that the judge consider a verdict of manslaughter.
Eric Gottardi said Batstone’s mental state at the time of her daughter’s death was unclear, and that she could have been affected by stress, mental disorders, and the consumption of alcohol and prescription drugs.
“We feel the mental health system failed Miss Batstone. It failed her daughter,” he said.
Teagan’s father, Gabe Batstone, said the verdict brought no closure to a family still mourning the loss.
“Nothing is going to bring Teagan back. That’s the reality. We live without our beautiful little girl for the rest of our lives,” he said after the sentence was read.
With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Maria Weisgarber and Regan Hasegawa
‘I just wanna die,’ distraught Lisa Batstone told police after killing her daughter — (CBC News)
Manjula Dufresne · CBC News · Posted: Feb 22, 2019 7:46 PM PT | Last Updated: February 23, 2019
Newly released police interview reveals mother’s state of mind
Lisa Batstone being interviewed by Const. Emilie Tousignant of the RCMP after she was arrested in the death of her daughter, Teagan. The whole interview lasted two hours. (RCMP)
Lisa Batstone was cold and distraught when police interviewed her the evening of the December day she was found with the body of her eight-year-old daughter, Teagan, in her car.
” I just wanna die,” she kept telling the homicide officers who were tasked with getting her to explain what happened.
Though she kept saying her lawyer told her not to talk, she did — outlining the despair she felt, the personal and professional help she was seeking but not getting, the medications she was on for depression, her frustrations dealing with her ex-husband, Gabe Batstone, and her efforts to end her own life once she smothered her daughter.
The interview was conducted by RCMP officers Const. Emilie Tousignant and Sgt. Darren Carr on Dec 10, 2014, and the two-hour recordings were released to the CBC and another media organization by the court upon request.
Batstone was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Teagan. Testimony in the B.C. Supreme Court trial, which was heard before a judge, wrapped up Jan. 23.
Justice Catherine Murray will deliver a verdict on March 22.
Watch as Lisa Batstone tells police about her daughter’s death
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Lisa Batstone interview with RCMP on December 10, 20142 years ago
The video of Lisa Batstone being interviewed by two RCMP officers was used by both defence and crown in her trial for killing her daughter Teagan. 1:47
Both Crown and defence relied on the interview during the trial to prove their take on the child’s murder — the Crown arguing it was premeditated and should be considered second degree murder and defence arguing it was spontaneous and the charge should be downgraded to manslaughter.
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“Nobody took me seriously and I was trying to get help … I tried so hard.,” Batstone told Tousignant. “I loved that girl more than anything … and I was just exhausted, and I couldn’t keep up.”
Lisa Batstone and her daughter, Teagan, in a picture posted to Facebook in 2014. (Facebook)
She admitted to smothering her daughter with a plastic bag while she slept in the living room during a “camp-out” with her mother.
Batstone told police the child’s murder wasn’t planned but she planned and tried to kill herself with a bag afterwards. When that didn’t work, she said, she thought she could end her life by driving off a cliff or stabbing herself.
She said she put her daughter’s body in the car and was trying to drop off the family dog with friends when the car went into a ditch.
Teagan with her father, Gabe Batstone. (McGibbon family)
“I went and knocked on someone’s door and said please call the police, my daughter’s dead in my car … and then I crawled in and snuggled with her until the last minute,”she said.
Crown says its case relies on post-offence conduct by Batstone to imply intent, primarily the statements she made to police: that by taking the action she took, she meant to kill her. That she had the intention to cause death.