Was Jasmine Hartin about to get arrested for cocaine possession? That’s one of the many questions swirling after Michael Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law confessed to accidentally shooting Henry Jemmott while giving him a massage. The confession follows speculation about Superintendent Jemmott’s untimely death after police found him floating in the water with a bullet wound in his right ear.
Hartin was reportedly forced into a confession after being threatened with cocaine possession charges, leaving many to believe that the daughter-in-law of British billionaire, Michael Ashcroft, may have a cocaine problem. Hartin, who is married to Ashcroft’s son, Andrew, spent a couple of nights in a Belize jail after being denied bail on Monday.
Henry Jemmott, who was shot and killed Friday night, was a high-ranking law enforcement official in Belize. His death caused an uproar, as many believed Hartin would get off easy for her father-in-law’s plentiful political connections in Belize. Whether this is the case is still up for debate. Though she originally claimed that Jemmott had been shot by someone in a boat passing by, she changed her story, admitting that she accidentally shot him while giving him his firearm back.
Jasmine Hartin only began speaking the truth after authorities told her she was facing charges for cocaine possession. Hartin “provided a statement under caution,” according to Chester Williams, the Commissioner of Police in Belize.
The Canadian-born who moved to Belize with her husband explained that she had been giving Jemmott a massage after a night of fraternizing and drinking. The two had made their way out onto a pier in San Pedro when she accidentally shot him in the head with his Glock handgun. Hartin claimed she was trying to give it back to him when it was prematurely discharged.
The single shot rang out in the Belize night and police quickly arrived on the scene, finding Henry Jemmott’s body in the water. After he was shot, he reportedly fell on top of Hartin, who then pushed him off of the pier.
Police originally believed Jemmott had committed suicide. The superintendent had been recently posted in Belize City and had requested time off to deal with personal matters. Though the severity of those personal matters is still unknown, Jemmott’s sister, Cherry Jemmott, claimed that “my brother would never ever kill himself.” She continued, saying that “he had his plans. In September he was to be promoted to senior superintendent and he was to be transferred to another unit. My brother is a very top cop with a big dream.”
Though local police seem satisfied with Hartin’s story, which claims the shooting was an accident, Jemmott’s family still has their doubts. “He had a gunshot behind his ear like an assassination,” Cherry Jemmott pointed out. “He is so skillful after 24 years [as an officer], he would never have left his guard down. He was a top cop. I don’t know how he let down his guard to be shot with his own gun.”
The assassination story is not completely outlandish, either. According to 7 News Belize, an accidental discharge is nearly impossible due to a safety mechanism built into Jemmott’s Glock. The station also notes that the manslaughter by negligent charges Hartin faces will likely avoid a prison sentence, and will instead end with a fine if she pleads guilty.
Some, like Jemmott’s sister, have their own theories. “The people can see what is going on here,” Cherry told The Daily Mail. “I can’t say too much because of my position but it’s not fair. Something is not right.”
Cherry Jemmott is pointing to Jasmine Hartin’s extensive connections. Her father-in-law has deep ties to Belize politics and even deeper pockets. Some theories have risen on social media, stating that it was Hartin’s possible cocaine problem that led her to shoot the cop, though the local authorities have not commented on those allegations.
Others on social media claim Jasmine Hartin is getting off easy with a manslaughter charge. Some want to see justice for Jemmott, who had spent 24 years on the force. “He was our only boy,” Cherry said of her brother and a father of five. “[Jasmine] took his life. She deprived him of his family. She deprived us of his love.” Hartin will likely get away with a fine.
There will be a funeral for the Belize official on June 12, honoring his life and legacy as a police officer. Jasmine Hartin has not yet been provided bail, though it seems she will be off the hook following her official confession.