Ex-daughter-in-law of British billionaire pleads guilty to shooting of police chief in Belize

Francis Akhalbey April 27, 2023
Jasmine Hartin is accused of fatally shooting Belize Police superintendent Henry Jemmott -- Left Photo via Alaia Belize/YouTube | Right Photo via Facebook

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

Hartin’s ex-husband, Andrew Ashcroft, is the son of British-Belizean billionaire businessman, Michael Ashcroft. Hartin entered the guilty plea after she was charged with manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of Belize Police Superintendent, Henry Jemmott, CNN reported at the time.

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.

Following the fatal incident, Belizean Police Commissioner, Chester C Williams, told reporters at the time that Jemmott’s body was found on a pier in the Belizean town of San Pedro with Hartin nearby. Williams disclosed that people around the scene of the killing heard a gunshot “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.”

At the time of the fatal incident, Hartin, together with Andrew Ashcroft and their two children were staying in the Caribbean nation. Though she was initially detained after the shooting, she was released in June 2021 after she posted a $15,000 bail, BBC reported.

Investigators said the deceased police officer and Hartin had attended a party on the day he died, adding that they went to the pier that night after strolling on the beach. At the pier, Jemmott reportedly received a shoulder massage from Hartin before he gave her his firearm to put down.

Following the incident, Hartin told authorities that Jemmott’s handgun accidentally fired after he asked her to give it back to him. She said she was having issues handling the firearm when the deceased police officer made that request, adding that she had also been consuming alcohol. Jemmott sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

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

Hartin’s ex-husband, Andrew, is a popular businessman in Belize and the owner of Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection hotel, CNN reported. His billionaire father, Michael Ashcroft, is a major Conservative Party donor and once served as the party’s deputy chairman. He also holds a Belizean passport and once served as the Caribbean country’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 27, 2023


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