Posted: Friday, June 25, 2021. 9:21 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Jasmine Suzanne Hartin, 32, is tonight behind bars at the Hattieville Central Prison, awaiting a new surety for bail of $30,000 on a charge of manslaughter by negligence and facing two new criminal charges.
She was brought to court on an application for withdrawal of surety and not, as previously reported, revocation of her original bail.
Hartin was arraigned in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court earlier today on charges of common assault upon Sarah Lee Grisham and possession of controlled drugs for 0.04 grams of crack cocaine.
She was offered bail of $1,000 which she could not meet and was whisked off the island to Belize City to appear in the Supreme Court before Justice Herbert Lord.
Frank Habet, general manager of Grand Colony Island Villas on Ambergris Caye, revealed himself as sole surety for Hartin. He now fears that she will not show up on her next court date and asked the court to remove him as surety.
Habet, 55, testified and there were submissions from Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell and defense attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley.
Bradley said his client was moved on Thursday from one precinct to another before being told of her new charges and although granted bail, continued to be held and brought from San Pedro to San Ignacio to Belize City, there to learn that her surety had apparently turned his back on her without informing her.
The Court allowed Habet to withdraw but ruled the original bail was still in effect and she would need a new surety. Having been unable to find one before close of business today, she is spending the night, the weekend and whatever time is needed to find a surety behind bars.
Hartin cut a frustrated figure in her first in-person court appearance, seen putting her left hand over her forehead in apparent weariness.
We asked Bradley to share with us how the new charges came about against his client but he said he had not yet been able to read the facts.
Hartin was first granted bail on June 9 for the original charge of manslaughter by negligence after a successful application by Godfrey Smith; her next mention came earlier this week when she personally filmed herself chasing after former partner Andrew Ashcroft, asking why he was keeping her children from her.
The Crown, Justice Lord said, must directly apply for bail revocation despite it being mentioned in today’s proceedings. The additional charges, according to Crown Counsel Lovell, are an obvious violation of one of the conditions of the original bail – the charge to stay in good behaviour while awaiting trial.
We are told the surety “got cold feet” after hearing of the new charges and was no longer willing to ‘take chance’ with his money. A bail bondsman had started the process of acquiring a new surety but it was not completed in time.
While the hearing was ongoing Commissioner of Police Chester Williams confirmed that his Department would request of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to apply for bail revocation.
“We are requesting of the DPP to approach the Supreme Court and to have her bail revoked on the basis that she has violated the bail provision and not behaved in [an] orderly manner as the court had directed of her,” Williams said.
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