An inmate who spent hours behind bars with Jasmine Hartin claims the socialite cursed at officers, demanded special treatment and smiled as he offered her warped congratulations for killing a Belize cop.
The fellow prisoner, who gave his name as Jose, told DailyMail.com that Hartin, 32, had blood on her clothes when she was led to the neighboring cell in San Pedro police station early last Friday morning.
After throwing a tantrum because jailers wouldn’t let her smoke or access her ‘pills’, Jose says she offered him a radically different version of the fatal shooting of Superintendent Henry Jemmott, claiming the top cop was gunned down by a passing boat.
The account is completely at odds with a formal statement given days later in the presence of Hartin’s attorney, in which the petite hotelier claimed she was handing Jemmott, 42, his service weapon when it accidentally blasted him in the head.
Jasmine Hartin was seen in exclusive DailyMail.com photos leaving San Pedro Police Station on Tuesday as she was moved to Belize Central Prison
The 32-year-old socialite hid her handcuffs under a plastic bag containing her belongings. She was wearing jeans, a red hoodie and black face mask and kept her head bowed while authorities transported her to the jail
The Canadian hotelier (left) was drinking with Belize Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott (right) before he died early Friday. She has insisted she accidentally shot the officer while handing him his service weapon
‘I heard there was a shooting that night but I didn’t know that she committed it,’ Jose told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
‘When I found out I applauded her, I said, you are the first lady here to kill a cop. She just smiled. The rest of the guys applauded her and said you have guts to do something like that.’
Jose, 48, claims he was locked up for merely breaching a Covid curfew in the swank coastal enclave of Ambergris Caye when Hartin was led inside.
He justified his cruel delight at hearing father-of-five Jemmott was dead because the high-flying officer had searched him for drugs and kicked him off the island two years ago.
‘I don’t have good feelings about him. I asked her did you do it, she said no. She just told me a boat passed and shot him,’ Jose said.
‘I asked how blood was on her clothes and she told me the guy dropped on her. She said he fell on her and she shook him off.
‘I wanted to know what was going on between them. She said they were friends. Lovers? No.’
Jose said he was stunned to see a wealthy, white woman behind bars in Belize but didn’t know she was married to Andrew Ashcroft, the son of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft.
The blonde socialite spent the past four days holed up in a tiny concrete cell at the stiflingly hot police and magistrates court complex in San Pedro, the tropical resort’s only town. She was pictured behind bars by local media on Monday evening
Fellow inmate Jose, who was in the neighboring cell, told DailyMail.com Hartin cursed at officers and demanded special treatment after she was thrown behind bars last Friday
Hartin allegedly threw a temper tantrum because she wanted to smoke a cigarette and access her ‘pills’ in her cell at the San Pedro Police Station, Jose said
‘They have a cell for the ladies and a cell for the men. I was right next to her. I can’t say whether she was doing drugs or what, but she looked really f**ked up,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘She was pissed off and cussing up the cops saying, “you motherf***ers, what the f**k is wrong with you guys”, because she wanted to smoke a cigarette.
‘The cops didn’t want her to smoke so she said, I need my f***ing pills. The cops didn’t want her to have her pills either. They were laughing at her.
‘Afterwards she told me who she is and that she has a hotel. They took her out to bathe, gave her clothes, they took her out to test for the gunpowder.’
Jose said Hartin refused a meal of tacos and handed him her juice saying she couldn’t eat. He said his goodbyes when he was released from custody later Friday.
‘She was mad. She was pissed off. She didn’t want to eat. I gave her a water bottle and she told me thanks.
‘Then in the morning her lawyer came. All I told her was don’t tell anything to the cops, just speak to your lawyer,’ he added.
Hartin, a Canadian national, was taken from the San Pedro jail to notorious Hattieville prison on the Belizean mainland Tuesday after authorities charged her with manslaughter by negligence but refused her bail.
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos showed her being led away from a police cell in handcuffs Tuesday as authorities transferred her to the country’s central prison, where she will be surrounded by gang members and violent criminals.
Hartin was put on the back of a golf cart which was driven to a secluded port five minutes from the station before she was placed on a boat bound for the mainland
Sources told DailyMail.com Hartin was taken ashore at Barracks Dock in Belize City in a boat called the SEAductress
Wearing jeans, a red hoodie and black face mask she kept her head bowed in silence as she left the stiflingly hot San Pedro police station and court complex flanked by the fallen officer’s former comrade, clutching only a plastic bag that mostly obscured her handcuffs.
She was put on the back of a golf cart which was driven to a secluded port five minutes from the station before she was placed on a boat bound for the mainland.
The boat she was taken off the island on was called the SEAductress.
Sources told DailyMail.com Hartin was taken ashore at Barracks Dock in Belize City and was transferred to a blue police van for the 30-minute drive to prison, heading inside the gates at around 4:30pm local time.
Officers had erected a memorial to Jemmott, featuring photos, floral tributes and a book of condolence, outside their station in the hours before Hartin left.
A source told DailyMail.com: ‘We made sure she was in handcuffs. There was no special treatment. He was our friend.’
Insiders predict Hartin will ultimately escape with just a fine after authorities opted against a murder or full-fledged manslaughter charge.
Her lawyers will have to convince the Central American nation’s Supreme Court to overturn the decision of a San Pedro magistrate, who said the mother-of-two was too much of a flight risk to go free.
Hartin, who is charged with manslaughter by negligence over Jemmott’s death, was moved to Belize Central Prison, in Hattieville, the nation’s only jail
Nicknamed the ‘Hattieville Ramada’, it currently houses 1,041 prisoners, many of whom are forced to wait months or even years for trial, in austere, concrete cellblocks
Police sources believe Hartin will ultimately escape with just a fine, however, after authorities opted against a murder or full-fledged manslaughter charge.
The predicted she could plead guilty within weeks and pay around 20,000 Belizean dollars (around $10,000 in US money) to secure her freedom.
‘It’s not right. It’s not right. The family will feel really bad. This is not justice,’ Jemmott’s sister Cherry, 48 – an assistant superintendent in the Belize Police – told DailyMail.com.
‘My brother will have a state funeral on June 12. He gave 24 years to the police. And this is the value they put on his life?’
Lord Ashcroft, 75, is a former deputy chairman and key financial backer of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party.
He also holds Belizean citizenship, has invested heavily in the country and has represented it at the United Nations.
The Ashcrofts’ latest venture – in partnership with hotel giant Marriott – is the gleaming new Alaia resort, which was completed during lockdown and opened just three weeks ago.
It has a rooftop pool and rooms were going for $1,000 a night this week. The Ashcrofts are also building a condominium building on nearby land.
Belize Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott, who had arrived in San Pedro last week and was staying at a downtown hotel, had been fishing and visiting bars with a friend before he was killed
Police believe Jemmott and Hartin had been drinking and toying around with his service weapon before it accidentally fired, hitting him in the head and causing him to topple off a pier (pictured) in the luxury coastal enclave of Ambergris Caye
Police believe Jemmott and Hartin had been drinking and toying around with his service weapon before it accidentally fired, hitting him in the head and causing the 6ft officer to topple off a pier in the luxury coastal enclave of Ambergris Caye.
The pair – described as old friends – were socializing in violation of Belize’s midnight Covid curfew.
After a single gunshot rang out at 1am the Canadian national was found at the scene by a security guard who said she was ‘hysterical’ and spattered in blood.
Jemmott, a father of five with a longterm partner, was found floating dead in shallow water.
Hartin clammed up and summoned her lawyer Godfrey Smith – the influential former Attorney General of Belize – once she was in police custody, sources said.
Police Commissioner Chester Williams revealed Sunday however that Hartin had given a statement under caution and a file had been passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.
Hartin was arraigned behind a cloak of secrecy Monday in San Pedro, the resort’s only town, despite authorities insisting the well-heeled prisoner would not receive any preferential treatment.
Late on Thursday evening, Hartin left her luxury hotel, Alaia (pictured) and walked a short distance down a beach to a small wooden jetty to meet Jemmott
Police abruptly ejected reporters and members of the public from the building before she was taken from the tiny, concrete holding cell to the court, one floor above, at around 3:30pm local time.
Officers cited Covid social distancing rules that ban assemblies of more than ten people, though more than double that amount were stood in a waiting room earlier in the day.
Smith finally emerged from three-hour hearing and confirmed his client was charged with manslaughter by negligence, effectively the least serious offense available.
While the punishment for manslaughter is ‘life’ in prison – up to 25 years – in the Belizean criminal system, that’s reduced to a maximum of five years when the charge involves only negligence.