Jasmine Hartin granted bail in shooting death of top Belize cop
Socialite Jasmine Hartin will be released from jail as she awaits prosecution in the shooting death of a top police officer in Belize.
Hartin — whose longtime partner is the son of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft — was granted bail of $30,000 BZD (about $15,000 USD) on Wednesday, local outlet 7 News Belize reported.
The 32-year-old Canada native had been held behind bars since her May 28 arrest in the death of San Pedro Superintendent Henry Jemmott.
But during a hearing on Wednesday, a judge rejected arguments from the prosecution that Hartin was a flight risk, allowing her to go home to her 4-year-old twins.
“In the end, the judge felt that there was not an unacceptable risk of flight once the appropriate conditions could be put in place,” Hartin’s attorney Godfrey Smith told reporters outside the courtroom.
As part of the bail conditions, Hartin will be required to surrender her passport and ID, report each day to a police station and submit any travel requests to authorities.
The decision is sure to be controversial in Belize, where local officials have already been forced to fight back against allegations that Hartin was receiving special treatment because of her wealth and connections.
She is charged with manslaughter by negligence, which reportedly rarely carries a prison sentence and is more likely to end in a fine if she pleads guilty.
This is a strange case