Socialite breaks down as she pleads guilty to manslaughter after shooting Belize top cop dead
Jasmine Hartin Canadian socialite has pleaded guilty to the murder o of a police chief in the Caribbean country of Belize.
Hartin, 34 years old, the ex-wife of Lord Michael Ashcroft and his son Andrew Ashcroft from the UK, was in tears as she entered her plea in the Supreme Court in Belize City, on Tuesday, 25 April, according to the UK’s Telegraph.
She was charged with manslaughter through negligence after shooting Superintendent Henry Jemmott while they were drinking near Ashcroft’s Hotel on Ambergris Caye island in May 2021.
“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 said outside court Tuesday.
The socialite made the plea in the sensational case as the trial was about to start. The court will hold a sentencing hearing on May 31, according to Channel 5 Belize.
Hartin has claimed on the night of the shooting, she and Henry shared a drink and walked to a pier because “the moon was beautiful.”
Hartin said she and Jemmott decided to sit on a dock with drinks the night of the shooting.
She said the top cop allowed her to handle his Glock 17 handgun to practice loading and unloading it when it “just went off.”
“I don’t remember ever touching that trigger on the gun so I don’t know what happened, to be honest,” Hartin said in a June 2022 interview.
“I was trying to get the clip out and it just went off — I don’t remember ever touching the trigger. So I’m not sure if it was a faulty weapon or not. I really can’t tell you how it went off,” she said.
“I’m definitely not a murderer. And I am being set up. I am. I really am. It’s such a small country, everybody’s scared of Ashcroft here. They own the bank, they own the newspapers, they own the economy of this country,” Hartin added.
The socialist has denied being romantically involved with the law enforcement chief — and said he had asked her to rub his shoulder on a fateful night only because he had gone fishing earlier.
On Tuesday, Judge Ricardo Sandcroft said he was unlikely to “veer away” from a precedent that calls for a non-custodial sentence and a fine for a guilty plea to manslaughter by negligence.
During an earlier hearing, however, he told her that he was “not bound” to it.
Hartin’s attorney, Orson Elrington, told reporters that her main concern “was to not put the family of the victim through the anguish of having to go through a trial proceeding, so she consistently expressed her concern about that,” the Independent reported.
Last year, Hartin claimed “corrupt” police officers planned to murder her and disguise her death as a botched jailbreak.
Andrew Ashcroft has been granted custody of the couple’s two children.