THE devastated sister of a cop “shot dead” by the daughter-in-law of British billionaire Lord Ashcroft has demanded she face a murder charge.
Jasmine Hartin, 32, is facing manslaughter by negligence charges after the body of Henry Jemmott was found floating in the sea near San Pedro on Friday.
The mother-of-two has insisted she shot Jemmott by accident.
She said she had been giving him a massage on a pier after a boozy night out when she attempted to hand his service pistol back to him and it suddenly fired.
Family members of the slain cop have slammed law enforcement’s decision to charge the Canadian-born socialite with manslaughter rather than murder, insisting “this is not justice”.
One of the cop’s sisters, Marie Jemmott Tzul, who is currently looking after her brother’s five kids, said she wants to see a murder charge.
“I would just say I am disappointed in the police department and that’s not only my opinion but it’s a consensus of my family, his friends and the general Belizean people,” she told 7 News Belize.
“I had faith in all the police department. It’s one of their own and I think in my honest opinion with due respect to them, I think they should have took that to court as murder and let the court decide.
“That’s my humble and honest opinion. It’s a big disrespect to my brother who have served for 23 years plus and if it was anybody in his shoes, if the tables were turned, they would have done the correct thing.
The sister added: “Jasmine has taken away the family breadwinner for his children. My little big brother.”
Hartin, after being deemed a flight risk, was denied bail on Monday and had spent the last four days cramped in a tiny concrete cell inside the magistrate’s court complex in San Pedro.
The owner of the swanky local hotel Alaia, which she operates with her husband, Andrew Ashcroft, Hartin has now been transferred to one of Central America’s toughest prisons.
Wearing a pink hoodie and a face mask, Hartin was escorted by a policewoman out of the station and put onto the back of a golf cart.
She hid her handcuffs under a plastic bag as she was taken past a memorial erected outside by police to Supt Jemmott, The Times reports.
Her partner Andrew is the youngest of Lord Ashcroft’s three children from his first marriage and is a citizen of Belize.
Lord Ashcroft, who lives in Belize but remains active in British politics, has not yet commented on the incident.
The Belize Central Prison in Hattieville is the small country’s only prison and featured on the Netflix doc Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons.
Known as the “Hattieville Ramada”, the facility currently houses 1,041 prisoners in small concrete cell blocks who are subject to strict religious instruction.
Inmates are held at the facility for months and sometimes even years on end while they await trial.
As Hartin was charged with manslaughter by negligence, rather than fully-fledged manslaughter or murder, she is currently facing a maximum sentence of five years behind bars.
But she could also escape prison with just a fine of around US$10,000, local reports say.
Sister of the slain cop Cherry Jemmott, who is also an assistant superintendent in the Belize Police, voiced outrage over the socialite’s charges.
“It’s not right. It’s not right. The family will feel really bad. This is not justice,” she told the Daily Mail.
“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?”
Cherry also said she believes Hartin should have been charged with murder and then taken to trial, where a jury could decide whether or not the killing was manslaughter.
“Within seven working days she will get bail, I predict it. She can afford it,” she said.
“The people can see what is going on here, they are already saying it.
“I can’t say too much because of my position but it’s not fair. Something is not right.
“He was our only boy. She took his life. She deprived him of his family. She deprived us of his love.”
And a former colleague of Jemmot, Darrell Tutsi Usher, said he “can’t get his head round” Hartin’s story and said a “disciplined” officer would never have turned his back on a loaded weapon.
“To the all accounts that I heard from it, it’s not adding up, especially to the last account when they say they were playing with the gun and the gun gone off and shot him in his head back,” he told 7 News Belize.
“Moreover, when it comes to safety, and see how he stands with safety – worse, he wouldn’t give someone a gun and then turn his back to the person.
“To me only a crazy person would do something like that, give someone a loaded gun and then turn your back to the person.”
Hartin was initially uncooperative with investigators after her arrest on Friday, but she started talking after officers threatened to charge her with cocaine possession, 7 News Belize reported.
Police sources claim the mother-of-two was found to have 0.4 grams of the drug on her person, which is punishable by up to two years in prison and carries a maximum fine of $36,000.
She then reportedly provided a “statement under caution” in which she told cops she had been giving Jemmott a massage on a pier near the shuttered Mata Rocks hotel.
‘STATE OF PANIC’
The cop allegedly placed his gun to the side of him on the ground while she carried out the massage.
Afterward, she claims he asked her to hand him his gun back to him when suddenly it went off in her hand, with a single bullet striking him in the head.
Cops said Jemmott then fell on top of her and, in a state of panic, Hartin tried to push to cop off of her causing his body to fall into the water.
His corpse was later discovered by someone on a passing boat.
Hartin was reportedly “hysterical” when she was found at the scene of the shooting.
Police in Belize said that a single gunshot was heard – and officers then found the woman on the pier with “blood on her arms and her clothing”.
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Friends and family of the victim have insisted there was no romantic relationship between Hartin and Jemmott.
But Jemmott’s family has raised doubt over Hartin’s version of events, with one of his sisters saying he “had a gunshot behind his ear like an assassination”.
Sources have claimed to 7 News Belize that Jemmott’s gun had a trigger safety mechanism which made it “impossible” for it to be fired accidentally.