Jasmine Hartin, a Canadian socialite who killed a police chief in Belize with his own gun, has been spared prison time. The 34-year-old was fined $75,000 BZD ($37,000) and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service, BreakingBelizeNews.com. reported. Hartin, who was once married to the son of a British billionaire, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after she was arrested and charged in connection with the May 2021 shooting death of police chief Henry Jemmott in Belize.
The police officer and the Canadian socialite were said to be friends at the time of the fatal incident. Investigators said the police officer and Hartin had attended a party on the day he died, adding that they went to the pier that day 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 police officer made that request, adding that she had also been consuming alcohol. Jemmott died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Officials found Jemmott’s body on a pier in the Belizean town of San Pedro with Hartin nearby. Belizean Police Commissioner, Chester C Williams, told reporters 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.
Hartin was charged with manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of the officer. Channel 5 Belize reported at the time that Hartin faces up to five years in prison, however, the outlet added 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.
Per the sentence given by the high court in Belize, Hartin must pay $75,000 BZD within 12 months, or face a potential prison sentence of 12 months. She is also required to рrоduсе а vіdео narrating her story of drunkenness and handling a firearm.
Hartin’s ex-husband, Andrew Ashcroft, is the son of British-Belizean billionaire businessman Michael Ashcroft. At the time of the incident, Hartin, Andrew Ashcroft and their two children were staying in the Caribbean nation. Hartin’s ex-husband is a popular businessman in Belize and the owner of Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection hotel. 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.