The daughter-in-law of a British-Belizean billionaire has been charged with shooting a police officer in the head in Belize. Jasmine Hartin—the wife of Lord Michael Ashcroft's youngest son, Andrew, himself a well-known property developer in Belize—was charged Monday with manslaughter by negligence in the death of police Superintendent Henry Jemmott, an engaged father of five, who's described as her friend. Hartin, a Canadian living in Belize, had been drinking with Jemmott on a pier in San Pedro after a coronavirus-related curfew took effect, per the Daily Beast and CNN. Police investigating a single gunshot then found 42-year-old Jemmott dead in the water, with a gunshot wound behind his ear. A blood-strewn Hartin, 38, was found on the pier, along with Jemmott's service weapon, Police Commissioner Chester Williams said, per Sky News.
Hartin told responding officers that Jemmott might've been shot from a passing boat, per the Daily Beast. She reportedly admitted to accidentally shooting him during a massage after police threatened her with drug charges, per the New York Post. Her story, per the Post, is that she went to hand him the gun and it went off. But sources say the weapon had a safety, and Jemmott's sister, an assistant police superintendent, notes the wound suggests "an assassination," per the Post. The outlet notes the charge against Hartin, denied bail on Monday, "rarely carries a prison sentence." She worked at the luxury Alaia Belize hotel, which was developed by her partner and opened in May. Lord Michael Ashcroft, a top donor to the UK's ruling Conservative Party and a former Belizean ambassador to the UN, had "recently donated a fully equipped gym to the police department," per the Daily Beast. (Read more Belize stories.)