The tale has gotten international attention, prompting Belizeans to come up with all kinds of hypotheses about the case, which appears to be straight out of a murder mystery. However, while the speculation continues and foreign journalists join local reporters in their search for interviews and footage, Canadian Jasmine Hartin, who has been questioned by police since Friday and was formally charged on Monday, is spending her first night on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Hartin was relocated from the San Pedro Police Station this afternoon, and News Five was there to cover the high-security transfer. Report by Duane Moody
Reporter Duane Moody
On Monday, she was officially detained and charged with manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Jasmine Hartin, 32, was taken from a detention cell in the island town of San Pedro to a pier on Ambergris Caye’s lagoon side this afternoon. She boarded a private boat and was carried to Belize City under police protection. She arrived on Marine Parade to a waiting jail van, which carried her away to the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville, where she will spend her first night behind bars.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
“I support the decision made by the D.P.P. She is the expert in this field. I respect her as a person and as a prosecutor and her ability to do her job. And I have every confidence in her.”
Hartin allegedly squeezed the trigger on Jemmott’s service weapon, hitting him in the back of the right ear with the fatal shot; his body was located in the sea at a pier in front of a beach resort south of town. The Director of Public Prosecutions ordered that the Canadian national be charged with manslaughter by negligence after reviewing the evidentiary file and post-mortem report. Despite the fact that the offence was bailable, the prosecutor was successful in his argument, and Hartin was not released on bail.
Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Jasmine Hartin [File: May 31st, 2021]
“The charge is manslaughter by negligence. Bail has been denied; we appeal to the Supreme Court as is normal.”
That was yesterday, and the lawyer was unable to gain Supreme Court bail today, therefore Hartin was remanded. Despite what some members of the public believe, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams believes that the accused has not gotten special treatment.
“We were going to do our investigation as impartial as we possibly can and there was going to be no special treatment afforded to her. Her social stature should not affect how she is to be treated or should not allow her to be treated different than any ordinary person that committed a crime. So as the commissioner I ensured that I remain in constant dialogue with my commander out in the cayes, telling them the need for us to deal with her as we do with any ordinary person.”
Jasmine Hartin is a Canadian native who has lived in Belize for a number of years. Andrew Ashcroft of San Pedro is the father of her two children.