Monday, April 15, 2024

Jasmine Hartin leaves Belize after being temporarily detained for failure to produce fine payment receipt


Canadian national Jasmine Hartin has been released from police custody after being detained for almost 24 hours at the Corozal Town police station. On Tuesday, June 6th, she was detained at the northern border, trying to cross into Mexico with a Canadian emergency travel document. Officers at the border questioned the travel document. They asked Hartin if she had paid the $75,000 fine she had been ordered to pay as part of her May 31st sentencing for the shooting death of Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Hartin could not produce a receipt, and thus not allowed to leave the country, and was placed into custody.


Hartin and her public relations team explained that although she had a year to pay the fine, full payment had been wired to her attorney Orson Elrington following the court instructions. However, she could not produce proof of payment and was placed in a cell after that. On Wednesday morning, June 7th, Hartin’s representatives got a hold of the receipt showing the amount in full of the $75,000. The receipt showed that payment was made that same day. Elrington explained that payment had been made some days earlier. However, the bank took a couple of days to process the funds, thus the delay. Despite providing a receipt of payment, Hartin remained detained for most of the day on Wednesday.
Another issue she faced was the legitimacy of her emergency travel document. Its authenticity was confirmed by the Canadian Consulate in Belize. Hartin’s representatives explained that Hartin could not wait until the release of her passport to travel out of the country, because she has a matter of absolute importance to tend to abroad.
While police continued investigating Hartin’s decision to leave the country just days following her sentencing, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams spoke to the media about the probe’s findings. “Having conducted the investigation and looking at the court order and statements recorded, there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Hartin for any offense. Especially since the entire fine has been paid,”
said Williams. He noted some discrepancies with her declaration. Williams said it was understood that Hartin was following the advice of her attorney.
After several hours in a jail cell, the Canadian socialite was finally released near 6PM. Hartin is now expected to travel out of the country without any incidents. However, she must still complete 300 hours of community service at Belize City’s YMCA and produce a video about the consequences of drinking and making bad decisions.
Hartin is the former partner of Andrew Ashcroft, son of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, with whom she shares twin children. Her life completely changed on May 28, 2021, when she claimed to have accidentally shot Jemmott in the head while they were socializing at a pier south of San Pedro Town. Since then, she had been fighting a Manslaughter by Negligence charge to which she pled guilty on April 25th. This led to her sentencing at the Supreme Court, ordering her to pay a $75,000 fine within a year. This amount settled the criminal part of the case, and it went to the Belize Police Department. Meanwhile, a civil suit by Jemmott’s family is expected to start soon. The family will attempt to seek compensation for the loss of their beloved family member.
Hartin still has drug possession and standard assault charges pending at the San Pedro Magistrate Court. She is back in court to face these charges on August 16, 2023. According to her public relations team, Hartin has left the country and will return to Belize prior to her scheduled court hearing.

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