Ex-Daughter-in-law of British Billionaire Pleads Guilty to Shooting of Police Chief in Belize

 

Jasmine Hartin, a Canadian socialite who was formerly married to the son of a British billionaire, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Tuesday after being arrested and charged in connection with the shooting murder of a police commander in Belize in May 2021.

Andrew Ashcroft, Hartin’s ex-husband, is the son of British-Belizean wealthy businessman Michael Ashcroft. According to CNN, Hartin entered the guilty plea after being charged with manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of Belize Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott.

The deceased police officer and the Canadian socialite were said to be friends at the time of the fatal incident. “I just want Henry’s family to have peace now and I want this whole thing to be behind all of us so we can heal,” Hartin told reporters outside the courthouse after she pleaded guilty, BBC reported.

After the deadly incident, Belizean Police Commissioner Chester C Williams told reporters that Jemmott’s body was discovered on a pier in the Belizean town of San Pedro, with Hartin nearby. People near the crime scene heard a gunshot, according to Williams, “and upon investigating, police found the female on a pier, and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing.”

“A firearm was also seen on the pier that has been retrieved and we have learned that the firearm belonged to the police and was assigned to Mr. Jemmott,” Williams added, according to Sky News.

Williams also said the shooting appeared to be “personal and not an attack.” “From what we know is that they are friends. From what we have been made to understand they were drinking. From investigation, they were alone on the pier and yes they were both fully clothed.”

Hartin, Andrew Ashcroft, and their two children were in the Caribbean country at the time of the fatal occurrence. Though she was initially imprisoned following the incident, she was released in June 2021 after posting a $15,000 bail, according to the BBC.

According to investigators, the deceased police officer and Hartin went to a party on the day he died, and then walked to the pier that night after strolling on the beach. Hartin allegedly massaged Jemmott’s shoulders at the dock before handing her his weapon to put down.

Hartin told officials that Jemmott’s firearm inadvertently discharged after he asked her to return it to him. She claimed she was having trouble holding the pistol when the deceased officer made the request, and that she had also been drinking. Jemmott was hit in the head with a bullet.

Hartin faces up to five years in prison, but the judge presiding over the case hinted that the socialite’s punishment could be non-custodial and she could be compelled to pay a fine, according to Channel 5 Belize.

Andrew Hartin, Hartin’s ex-husband, is a well-known businessman in Belize and the owner of the Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection hotel, according to CNN. Michael Ashcroft, his millionaire father, is a key Conservative Party donor and former deputy chairman. He also has a Belizean passport and was previously the Caribbean country’s UN ambassador.

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