The Canadian socialite and estranged daughter-in-law of billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft has insisted in an interview that she is not the cokehead cop killer the prevailing narrative has made her out to be.
“I’m definitely not a murderer. And I am being set up. I am. I really am. It’s such a small country, everybody’s scared of Ashcroft here,” Jasmine Hartin told TalkTV’s Piers Morgan. “They own the bank, they own the newspapers, they own the economy of this country.”
Hartin was charged last summer in the fatal shooting of Belize Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott, who was found dead in the water off a dock on a night in May last year. He had a single gunshot wound behind his ear, according to the police, who also said the murder weapon had been Jemmott’s service pistol.
The mother of two was found by the authorities on the same pier, spattered with blood, a spokesperson said at the time.
She was charged with manslaughter by negligence in Jemmott’s death in June 2021. After being jailed in and then released from a Belize facility notorious for its harsh conditions, Hartin was re-incarcerated last month on the suspicion that she had hired hitmen to carry out the assassination of Belize’s police commissioner and a local magistrate.
Excerpts from Hartin’s latest interview, which was set to air Sunday night, were reported earlier Sunday by The Sun. She did not dispute having shot Jemmott but said the incident was nothing more than a “tragic accident.”
“I don’t remember ever touching that trigger on the gun so I don’t know what happened, to be honest,” she told Morgan. “I was trying to get the clip out and it just went off—I don’t remember ever touching the trigger. So I’m not sure if it was a faulty weapon or not.”
Hartin, 33, said that Jemmott, a friend with whom she had been socializing and drinking that night, had handed her his service pistol because he “thought that it was important for me to get my firearms license, because he thought I needed protection. ”
The socialite insisted that she had been attempting to take the weapon’s clip out when the gun accidentally went off. “Henry fell on top of me. I could see blood and feel blood,” she recalled. “Then I tried to wriggle out from under him. He started slipping into the water. I tried to catch him. He was a lot bigger than me, so I couldn’t hold him up.”
After his death, Jemmott’s family pushed for Hartin to be charged with murder. “My brother was shot behind the ear…execution style,” his sister Cherry told CBS News.
In speaking with Morgan, Hartin also addressed the “many different stories” about the details of the incident that had proliferated in recent months.
“I’ve heard I’ve executed him, that it was an attempted rape and I was defending myself. I’ve heard that I lured him there and it was Andrew [Ashcroft, Hartin’s estranged husband] that shot him,” she said.
“The truth of the matter is none of that. He was my friend,” Hartin added. “He didn’t make a pass at me. I considered Henry like a protector.”
She also disputed past media reports that have portrayed her as a drug-addicted party animal, connecting them to her ongoing custody battle with Andrew over their 5-year-old twins.
“Obviously, it would benefit in the custody case, it would benefit in many ways if I’m perceived to be this wild cocaine addict party girl,” Hartin said. “It’s just not true.”