The daughter-in-law of Lord Michael Ashcroft, a British billionaire, has been arrested and charged with the shooting death of a police officer in Belize.
Jasmine Hartin, the partner of Andrew Ashcroft, initially maintained that San Pedro Superintendent Henry Jemmott had been shot dead early by someone from a passing boat on Friday morning.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police, told Channel 7 that “Ms. Jasmine Ashcroft” was taken into custody and is being investigated for Jemmott’s killing. Williams said Hartin and Jemmott were friends and “from what we have been made to understand they were drinking.”
Jemmott’s body was found in the water off a pier in San Pedro. A gunshot wound was found behind his ear. A female was found on the pier with blood on her arms and clothing, he said. She was first uncooperative before confessing to the shooting.
Hartin claims she accidentally shot him while handing him his service Glock pistol as she gave him a massage. She alleges that Jemmott fell on her — and as she panicked to get him off, his body fell in the water.
But Jemmott’s family says Hartin’s version of events is unlikely true.
Assistant police superintendent Cherry Jemmott says that he “had a gunshot behind his ear like an assassination.” She also told the Daily Mail that he, “was a top cop. I don’t know how he let down his guard to be shot with his own gun.”
Hartin was arrested and charged on Monday with manslaughter by negligence. Her attorney Godfrey Smith told reporters on Monday that she had been denied bail and will be remanded in prison.
“The charge is manslaughter by negligence. Bail has been denied. We appeal to the Supreme Court, as is normal,” said Smith.
But his family thinks Hartin should be facing murder charges.
“It’s not right… This is not justice,” Ms. Jemmott declared.
According to Forbes, Lord Ashcroft has “deep ties” to Belize. He owns homes in the country and served as the Belizean ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2000.
Ashcroft owns 93% of Waterloo Investment Holdings, a significant provider of asset-backed loans in the Turks and Caicos and 75% of Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited. This publicly-traded company owns Belize Bank and other financial services businesses.