More details have come out in the case of Canadian socialite Jasmine Hartin and the homicide of Belize police chief Henry Jemmot on San Pedro Ambergris Caye Belize 28 May 2021. The socialite says she had “no idea” the gun she was holding was loaded before it went off and killed her police chief friend in Belize, it is reported. Jasmine Hartin, 32, was arrested after Belize police superintendent Henry Jemmott was accidentally killed with his Glock 17 in a drinking session.
The socialite, who is Lord Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law, is now said to have described the incident as a “living nightmare”, telling police in a statement: “I picked up the gun and tried to eject the magazine clip but it was stuck. “I struggled with it, trying to get the magazine out, when the gun suddenly went off. “I had no idea it still had a bullet in the chamber.” She added: “Henry fell back on top of me. I was pinned down and he was bleeding all over me.
“As I was wriggling to get out from under him, to get free so I could check to see if he was OK, he slipped into the water.”
The Mail on Sunday said Ms Hartin – wed to Tory billionaire Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew – told police that Supt. Jemmott gave her the gun so she could practise her shooting skills.
She has been charged with manslaughter by negligence and could face up to five years in jail, or be let off with a $10,000. fine. The pair had reportedly been friends for a number of years and he suggested she arm herself after an incident at a party in Belmopan when a man became aggressive towards her. Sources have told reporters that bullets found at the scene convinced prosecutors her claim about practising unloading and loading Jemmott’s gun were true. She will learn whether she is released on bail on Wednesday.
On the day of the shooting, traffic police pulled over a “highly intoxicated” Supt Jemmott as he swerved around the island on a golf cart while on holiday. He was with friends including a Belize city jeweler Manuel Pacheco who once stood trial for murder, with whom he was sharing a hotel room.
Supt Jemmott had been given time off to deal with relationship issues though a source questioned why he was still allowed to keep his weapon. After being refused bail, Ms Hartin is currently being held in the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville.
Sources close to the case have claimed the decision to keep her in detention is politically motivated because the “public is baying for blood”. Meanwhile, Supt Jemmott’s widow has told tabloids that he had never mentioned Ms Hartin to her. Romit Wilson said: “The whole thing has been a big surprise”.
Ms. Wilson is Jemmott’s common-law wife and mom to three of his five kids. For Ms. Wilson life has been tough. A friend posted on social media “I realized that Supt. Jemmott’s partner is Romit Wilson the only daughter of Sgt. Leslie Staine, Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel’s driver who broke his neck in that Western Highway mile 33 road traffic accident in 1996 as the PM was enroute to read his budget. While the PM received only minor injuries, Sgt. Staine was paralised and died shortly after. My heart goes out to Romit Wilson and her children this morning. The trauma of losing her dad as a child, active duty officer and now the father of your children in another tragic accident is unfathomable. God help her cope.”
Jasmine Hartin Granted Bail
Wednesday 9 June 2021 Update: Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord has today granted bail to Jasmine Hartin in the cash sum of BZ$30,000. and one surety of the same amount. Ms. Hartin must also surrender all travel and ID documents and report every day to a police station. If she needs to travel out of Belize, she must first obtain permission from the court. The decision came after a full day of hearings where defence attorney Godfrey Smith managed to convince the court that Ms. Hartin has close economic and family ties to Belize and does not pose a flight risk, especially since the case has come under the international media microscope.