Canadian socialite Jasmine Hartin has been detained at a border post after trying to leave Belize following her sentencing for killing a police office
Canadian socialite Jasmine Hartin has been detained at a border post after trying to leave Belize following her sentencing for killing a police officer.
Hartin, 34, had avoided prison time but was ordered to pay $37,000 after she shot and killed father-of-five Henry Jemmott, 42, in 2021.
She has said she had been drinking with Jemmott and was being taught how to use his gun when it went off by accident, killing him.
Her lawyer said Saturday she had now paid the fine and wished to ‘express her sincere regret and remorse to the Jemmott family for the loss of their beloved Henry’.
But after sending the money to her lawyer, a court official refused to return her passport, a spokesperson for Hartin said. She was issued an emergency travel document and tried to cross from Santa Elena into Mexico on Tuesday at 12:30pm.
Louisa Chiaramonte, Hartin’s spokesperson, said the mother-of-two was taken to a room by a border agent to be questioned, accused of falsifying the travel document.
Local media suggested Belize’s police commissioner, Chester Williams, had intervened to stop her from ‘abscond’ the country, according to The Times.
Jasmine Hartin is seen shopping at a local fruit stand in Belize. The Canadian socialite was spotted wearing a black dress and a straw hat during the solo outing on May 24 2023
Henry Jemmott, the police chief who was shot by Hartin, pictured with his family, widow Romit Wilson and children from left: Henry Jemmott III, Jemarie Jemmott, Keyannie Jemmott
Jasmine Hartin is the estranged partner of Andrew Ashcroft, son of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft.
After having two children, the couple opened a hotel in San Pedro, Belize in May 2021, during the pandemic.
But weeks later, she was found to have shot and killed her friend, police superintendent Henry Jammott.
She said that Jemmott had urged her to get a gun for her safety, and that that officer had offered to teach her to load and unload his service weapon.
While handing back the weapon, she claims, it went off, killing him.
In April last year, she pleaded guilty to manslaughter by negligence, and last week was sentenced to complete 300 hours of community service and to make a video about the dangers of drinking and handling firearms.
Judge Ricardo Sandicroft had required Hartin to wire the fine to her lawyer.
But Chiaramonte says even with an emergency travel document, she was stopped from leaving the country on Tuesday afternoon.
Hartin brought documents to show that the funds had already been sent to her lawyer when questioned by a border agent, according to her spokesperson.
But, she said, they ‘had the border agent coming up with story after story as to why she didn’t have the proper things to cross.
‘Every time she produced what [the agent] was needed, she would come up with another thing.’
Hartin was later taken to a police station in the town of Corozal, in Belize, and held in the cells.
Jasmin Hartin leaves court in tears after pleading guilty to manslaughter by negligence begins at the Belize City Supreme Court on April 25 2023
While on bail awaiting trial, Hartin gave several interviews in print and on camera.
She has also featured in the documentary One Bullet in Belize on US streaming service Discovery+.
Hartin has described in detail how she ‘accidentally’ shot the officer as they enjoyed a late-night drink.
She said she ‘wriggled out’ from under her friend and was left covered in blood.
Her former partner Andrew Ashcroft has said Hartin was ‘very drunk’ on the night of the incident.