The family of the murdered Belize police commissioner plan to take wrongful death lawsuits against a socialite who has been charged with his death.
Jasmine Hartin has been held without bail since being charged with the death of Henry Jemmott, 42, a superintendent of the Belize Police Department, who was found dead in the waters off San Pedro Island.
Jemmott had a single gunshot wound behind his right ear, and an autopsy report determined the cause of death was “massive brain hemorrhage” from a “gunshot wound to the head.”
The medical examiner’s findings prompted Jemmott’s family to file a wrongful death complaint against Hartin, an American married to businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft’s son, ABC News reported.
Details surrounding Jemmott’s death remain obscure at best, but a number of details provide a scandalous picture: Jemmott, a father of five, allegedly told a friend he had a “secret date” and that he refused to name the woman he was meeting, according to the Evening Standard.
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Hartin was seen with blood on his hands, arms and clothing near the pier where Jemmott’s body was found. Police described Hartin as “deeply distressed and shaking”.
Police arrested Hartin and charged her with negligent manslaughter. Hartin remained in jail for eight days after a court initially denied bail; the court overturned its decision on Wednesday, allowing Hartin to leave prison on BZ $ 30,000 bail, the Guardian reported.
However, Hartin was ordered to hand over his travel documents in order to prevent him from leaving the country until the end of his trial.
Investigators struggled to piece together the events of the evening.
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A woman who had been drinking with Jemmott earlier in the evening said he complained about marital problems and was taking a vacation. Jemmott then met Hartin on a jetty, where it was confirmed that they were alone and drinking.
Hartin first told police someone shot Jemmott from a passing boat, but then allegedly confessed after Belize police threatened to charge him with possession of cocaine.
She then provided “a bail statement,” 7 News Belize reported.
Hartin claimed that she massaged Jemmott when she accidentally shot him while handing him her service pistol.
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A guard who responded to the scene suggested that Jemmott had run into Hartin after being shot, and the socialite then pushed his body out of her and into the water.
However, police instead investigated the possibility that Hartin and Jemmott played a “gun game,” a police source told The Times.
Hartin lives in Belize with her family and is the Director of Lifestyle and Experience at Alaia Belize, a resort run by her husband, Andrew Ashcroft.
Some details about Hartin remain unclear: Reports still don’t know if she is married to Ashcroft or if she is just his partner; Additionally, some outlets have reported Hartin’s age at 32 while others claim she is 38.
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Andrew Ashcroft is the youngest son of Lord Michael Ashcroft, a major Conservative Party donor in the UK and its former Vice President.
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