Jasmine Hartin, who is married to the son of politically connected businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft, is questioned in the shooting death Friday morning of San Pedro superintendent Henry Jemmott.
The pair were drinking and socializing on a jetty before Jemmott’s body was found floating in the water with a gunshot wound to his head and his service weapon nearby, police said.
Hartin, 38, initially refused to cooperate with investigators and asked for his lawyer, Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams said.
Hartin was “deeply upset and shaking” and covered in blood when first responders arrived, according to the Daily Mail.
“She said she needs to have her lawyer present so that she can say what she has to say, and that is her right under the constitution, but that raises a red flag,” said Williams, according to the newspaper.
“The situation is such that it requires an explanation on his part. In the absence of an explanation, she should be treated as the killer and we will proceed accordingly. “
Hartin and Jemmott, 42, were old friends who socialized after hours in violation of the country’s COVID-19 curfew, Williams said, according to the report.
“The first person who arrived at the scene after the incident said they were in an emotional state. “
Jemmott’s family said they believed he was killed. It is not known whether forensic scientists ruled out accidental death or suicide.
“I spoke to him that night. He was in his room when he got a call. He wouldn’t have gone out unless it was for a friend of someone he knew well, ”said Marie Jemmott Tzul, the director’s sister, according to the outlet.
“I believe he was killed. The investigation may tell me otherwise, but I believe he was killed.
A source offered a possible explanation for Hartin’s blood drenched after the shooting, according to the report.
“After the shot, Jemmott fell on top of her and so she pushed him and that’s how he ended up in the shallow water near the pier,” the source suggested.
Hartin, an American national, lives in Belize with her husband Andrew Ashcroft. She is the Lifestyle and Experience Director at Alaia Belize Resort, where she was staying before Jemmott’s death.
His father-in-law is Belize’s former ambassador to the United Nations, and his lawyer, the country’s former attorney general, reportedly visited Hartin in prison on Saturday.
Residents were ecstatic about the high-profile incident and investigation.
“It’s so quiet here that a lot of people have been woken up by it,” a witness told the Mail. “Then all hell broke loose. There are so few facts. But that’s all everyone has talked about since.
“I’ve heard a lot of theories,” another woman told the outlet. “That they were drinking and maybe she was playing with her gun and it happened accidentally.” Or maybe they were playing a game and she didn’t think it was loaded.
One resident reportedly described the detention cell at the San Pedro police station where Hartin stayed as “hell on earth”.
“She is a lady used to luxury. Every time you see her, she is always perfectly dressed, her children are always perfect, ”said the resident at the point of sale.
“She is a nice lady, very polite and beautiful. I can’t imagine it in there. I have been in this prison. The floor of the cells is made of earth and the whole place smells of urine.
Many Islanders who spoke to the newspaper had good feelings for the Ashcroft family. Lord Ashcroft grew up in Belize, took dual citizenship and developed the country’s finance, communications and tourism industries.
“The Ashcrofts are an integral part of Belize,” said one resident. “Many people are grateful to Lord Ashcroft for all the millions he has invested in this country. ”