A British billionaire’s daughter-in-law is expected to be charged Monday in the death of a Belize police official, according to a report.
Jasmine Hartin, 38, a US national who is married to the son of politically connected businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft, is being held in the Friday morning shooting death of San Pedro Superintendent Henry Jemmott.
Jemmott’s sister, Marie Jemmott Tzul, 55, told the Daily Mail on Sunday night that Hartin will be charged in his death.
“I got a call. I was informed that she will be charged tomorrow, but they did not say what she was going to be charged with,” Tzul told the news outlet.
Hartin and Jemmott were drinking and socializing on a pier before his body was found floating in the water with a bullet wound to the head and his service weapon nearby, police said.
The suspect had “blood on her arms and clothes” before being arrested, according to The Sun.
She initially refused to cooperate with investigators and asked for her lawyer, Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams said.
An unconfirmed local TV report suggested that Hartin would be charged with manslaughter after she told authorities the Glock handgun went off accidentally as she handed it to Jemmott, 42, the Daily Mail reported.
She told investigators she was giving Jemmott a massage before the freak accident, according to the news outlet, which cited local news reports.
A police officer who responded to the scene suggested that Jemmott fell on Hartin after being shot — and then plunged into the water when she pushed him off, the Daily Mail reported.
“I haven’t seen the news because I’m so overwhelmed and devastated by my brother’s death,” Tzul, a retired social worker, told the outlet.
“I can’t can speculate over whether they will bail her or she will stay in prison, because I don’t know the charge yet,” she said.
“What I would say to Jasmine is, ‘Give closure to the family. Tell us what happened. We want to know for the benefit of our family. He was my only brother,’” Tzul continued.
“He had five children and a partner for 14 years. Every time I look at my nieces and my nephews I break down and cry. Please tell us what happened,” she added.
Jemmott’s family has refuted suggestions that he took his own life — despite claims he was experiencing marital problems.
Another sister, Cherry Jemmott, an assistant police superintendent, told the Daily Mail: “My brother would never ever kill himself. 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.”
She added: “He had a gunshot behind his ear like an assassination. 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.”
Meanwhile, Jemmott’s niece Renisha Martinez wrote on Facebook that she knows “for a fact” that he would never commit suicide.
“He was murdered and we need justice. That man loved his job so much that he wouldn’t even take days off!” Martinez wrote, according to the Daily Mail.
“First and foremost my Uncle is a dedicated man when it comes to his job. He is a caring and supporting dad, uncle and friend. He loved being out and working hard. He believed that hard work came with alot of discipline.”
She added: “My uncle was a great man in my eyes and anybody else who knows him would feel how I feel.”
Hartin, who lives in Belize with her husband Andrew Ashcroft, is the director of lifestyle and experience at the Alaia Belize resort, where she was staying before Jemmott’s death.
Her 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 jail Saturday.