Lawyers for a South Surrey mother charged in the December 2014 smothering death of her eight-year-old daughter say their client’s level of intoxication at the time may have limited Lisa Batstone’s ability to gauge the consequences of killing her daughter.
And that, defence counsel submitted in B.C. Supreme Court today – along with borderline personality traits, significant levels of depression and other stressors – raises doubt as to whether Batstone had the intent to kill.
I'm at second degree murder trial closing submissions of South Surrey's Lisa Batstone. Defence saying that level of alcohol/prescription drug intoxication may have limited Batstone ability to gage consequences before she killed her daughter. Background: http://t.co/0mml2Vx4Yn
— Aaron Hinks (@aaron_hinks) January 21, 2019
Batstone is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of her daughter Teagan, whose body was found in the trunk of a vehicle that became stuck in a cul-de-sac off of Crescent Road on Dec. 10, 2014.
Court proceedings – including a voir-dire hearing to determine if statements Batstone made prior to being advised of her right to counsel would be admissible at trial – began in early October.
Justice Catherine Murray ultimately allowed the statements, which included disturbing accounts of how Teagan died.
Over the course of the trial, the court heard from various witnesses, including the arresting officer, medical professionals who interacted with Batstone following her arrest and Teagan’s father, Gabe Batstone.
Closing arguments got underway Monday morning, with defence counsel suggesting Crown has not proven intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Manslaughter, the lawyers suggested, would be a more appropriate finding.
During trial, the court heard that Batstone told hospital officials that she just wanted Teagan “to be with Jesus.”
Among scenarios suggested by defence counsel on Monday was that the mother “acted in an altruistic motive in a distorted belief that she was saving, or protecting, her child” by killing her.
Noting the only question is around intent, the lawyers said “it’s impossible to know… what truly was in Batstone’s mind in these critical moments” before Teagan’s death.
The proceedings are scheduled to continue Tuesday.
More to come…