Jasmine Hartin, the daughter-in-law of a UK billionaire, is being questioned by police in connection to the death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott, a high-ranking police official in Belize. The American, who is married to Lord Michael Ashcroft’s son, Andrew Ashcroft, was socializing with the Belize official after midnight just before a single shot rang out.
Police found Henry Jemmott with a bullet wound in his head Friday and his blood splattered over Hartin’s clothes and skin. Surveillance camera footage placed the two together on a pier in San Pedro at around 12:30 a.m. Friday, in which the pair were reportedly drinking and fraternizing.
Police Commissioner Chester Williams explained that “upon investigating, police found the female on a pier and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing.” He then described that inside the waters, right near the pier, police recovered the lifeless body of Jemmott, “with one apparent gunshot wound behind the right ear.”
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According to a report, Superintendent Henry Jemmott had just been posted in Belize City but had requested time off to deal with personal matters. Police are unsure whether the incident involving the officer’s firearm was an accidental discharge, a suicide, or murder. Jasmine Hartin was taken into questioning but has been uncooperative with investigators.
Hartin has since hired the former attorney general of Belize to represent her in the case. The daughter-in-law of billionaire Michael Ashcroft has not been charged with Jemmott’s death.
Williams said in a news conference Friday that “Doctor Estradabran will be conducting an inspection as well as a post-mortem on the body” which will give investigators a better understanding “in terms of proximity and trajectory which will assist investigators in determining the distance from which the shot was fired.” This will help reveal what happened to Henry Jemmott and whether he could have caused his own injury.
Williams also addressed social media outrage regarding the incident. He explained that “some people on social media are saying that we need to be more drastic because there is an attack on law enforcement personnel, but may I say that from our investigation so far, it seems rather personal and not an attack on law enforcement.”
It’s still unclear what the extent of the relationship between Hartin and Jemmott was, however, police have determined that the two were friends. Jasmine Hartin, who is the daughter-in-law of a high-profile individual, will be reportedly treated like any other suspect. Lord Michael Ashcroft served as Belize’s ambassador to the United Nations and as the deputy chairman of the UK’s Conservative Party, however, Williams declared that Hartin’s relationship with Ashcroft would not infringe on the investigation.
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“Someone is responsible for his death,” Williams said, speaking about Henry Jemmott. “We owe it to him to ensure that we investigate properly and bring that person or those persons to justice. I can emphatically state that I have not received any calls from anybody above me directing that we deal with the matter in one way or the other.”
Williams was adamant that if Jasmine Hartin was the cause of death, no amount of politicization would sway investigators. “We must investigate this matter and the chips may fall where they may,” he said, though they haven’t ruled out all possibilities.
Jasmine Hartin is currently living in Belize with her husband, Andrew Ashcroft. Hartin is working as the director of Lifestyle and Experience at Alaia Belize Autograph Hotel Collection and has been since 2016. Hartin has remained in police custody since she was taken in on Friday. Saturday morning, Hartin’s attorney, Godfrey Smith, arrived at the police station.
This is a developing story.
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