Police are investigating whether the daughter-in-law of a British billionaire was playing a drinking game with a Belize police chief when he was fatally shot, according to a new report.
Jasmine Hartin, 38 – an American married to businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft’s son – had been drinking with San Pedro Superintendent Henry Jemmott for a few hours before her body was found in the waters off the San Pedro Island with a single gunshot wound behind his right ear on Friday, The Times of London reported.
Investigators now believe the couple were playing a game with Jemmott’s gun on the pier before things got horribly wrong, a police source told the newspaper.
Hartin was found “deeply upset and shaken” by a security guard who heard a gunshot, the newspaper reported.
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Jemmott’s duty weapon was recovered from the pier, police said.
The victim’s sister, Marie Jemmott Tzul, 55, said she learned Sunday evening that charges would be laid against Hartin for her death, the Daily Mail reported.
“I received a call. I was informed that it would be charged [Monday], but they didn’t say what she was going to be charged with, “Tzul told the outlet.
Edward Fitzgerald, a London-based lawyer not involved in the case, said if Jemmott was mistakenly killed as a result of “gun play” it is likely that Hardin will be charged with homicide unintentional, the Times reported.
He said manslaughter convictions in Belize came with severe penalties, the most serious carrying 25 years in prison.
But he added: “There is a chance in this type of case that the authorities could determine that the death was completely accidental and that no charges would be laid.”
Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams said: “We have to look at the investigation with an open mind, but so far we have had no indication that there is a third actor.”
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He said Hartin, who was arrested and refused to cooperate with investigators, is the prime suspect.
“In the absence of an explanation… she should be treated like the killer,” he said.
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