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Crime News

Canadian Socialite Jasmine Hartin Pleads Guilty To Negligent Manslaughter In Death Of Belize Police Officer

Henry Jemmott was reportedly showing Jasmine Hartin how to use a gun when it discharged and killed him.

By Cydney Contreras

A Canadian socialite has pleaded guilty to the shooting death of a Belize police officer just days before the two-year anniversary of his death.

Jasmine Hartin, 34, the former daughter-in-law of billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, entered a guilty plea to a charge of negligent manslaughter in the death of police superintendent Henry Jemmott during a hearing at the Belize City Supreme Court on Tuesday, May 25. Had she not entered a guilty plea, the case would've gone to trial on Wednesday, according to The Guardian

RELATED: Socialite Accused In Killing Of Police Superintendent Claims Shooting Was A Firearm Training Accident

"I just want Henry's family to have peace now and I want this whole thing behind all of us so we can heal," Hartin told reporters outside the court, the outlet reported.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May. In Belize, a negligent manslaughter charge carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison, according to the BBC.

A photo of Henry Jemmott

Hartin's attorney Orson "OJ" Elrington told The Guardian that he anticipates there will be "no custodial sentence." Instead, a judge will likely order her to pay a fine or compensation to Jemmott's family. "The law dictates what the sentence should be in these matters, and the law is very clear ... it is right in line with the law," Elrington said. 

Hartin initially told authorities that someone on a boat had shot him, before ultimately admitting that she accidentally shot and killed the 42-year-old officer with his own service pistol, a Glock 17, on the evening of May 28, 2021. The pair, who were friends, had been drinking on a pier in San Pedro when Jemmott offered to show her how to handle a firearm, Oxygen.com previously reported. At the time, Hartin had been standing behind him and was massaging his shoulders when she went to give him back the gun and a shot rang out.  

Speculation about the nature of their relationship ran rampant, as Jemmott had been staying at the Grand Colony resort following a reported breakup from his partner of 14 years.

But Hartin said they were merely hanging out and he offered to show her how to use a gun since she was sexually assaulted days prior. "Henry told me, take my firearm, I want you to get comfortable with it. That whole night he said you need to learn to protect yourself, we need to get you a gun license. He thought I was in danger and he made me promise I wouldn't go to any parties without protection," she told the Daily Mail in June 2021.

She added in a later interview with "48 Hours" that she didn't "consciously" pull the trigger. "I had no motive to do that to my friend," she insisted.

In the wake of the incident, Hartin's partner Andrew Ashcroft retained custody of their 4-year-old twins, Ella and Charlie, and stated that he intends to buy back the 10% stake in his hotels that he'd previously given to Hartin. "I hold no ill will or malice towards Jasmine and wish her well with the court proceedings," he said in a statement, according to The Guardian.