A woman serving a life sentence for killing her eight-year-old daughter has died in custody at the Fraser Valley Institution in Abbotsford, B.C.
Lisa Batstone, 50, died on Jan. 1, according to a news release from the Correctional Service Canada (CSC). The cause of death has not been released.
Batstone was found guilty of second-degree murder four years ago for the 2014 suffocation death of daughter Teagan Batstone. Teagan’s body was found in the back of Batstone’s car.
During a high-profile trial, evidence was presented supporting that Batstone had carried out the killing to spite her ex-husband Gabe Batstone.
At sentencing, Supreme Court Justice Catherine Murray said the court needed to send a strong message to warring parents who might use their children as weapons.
“The breach of trust could not be more abhorrent,” Murray said. “Children are not to be used as pawns in matrimonial or personal disputes.”
Batstone’s lawyers claimed she had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and was suffering from anxiety at the time of the murder. But Murray said those factors didn’t take away from her moral culpability in planning and committing the most extreme breach of trust imaginable for a parent.
The court heard that Batstone, who was 41 at the time of the murder, held a heavy plastic bag over Teagan’s nose and mouth for four to five minutes at their home in Surrey, B.C. Batstone then tried to kill herself using two smaller plastic bags, but couldn’t go through with it.
CSC said an internal investigation has been launched into Batstone’s death, as is the policy with all in-custody deaths. The Abbotsford Police Department and B.C. Coroners Service have also been notified.