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Jasmine Hartin to stand Supreme Court trial on manslaughter by negligence charge

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2022. 9:42 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In the end, there was no challenge to the piles of documents presented to Magistrate Cristina Perrera as the Crown’s initial statement that Jasmine Hartin has a prima facie case to answer on charges of manslaughter by negligence for the death of Police Senior Superintendent Henry Jemmott in May of 2021.

Accordingly, Magistrate Perrera committed Hartin to trial in the Supreme Court in Belize City any time after June 13, 2022.

After some delay, Hartin was allowed to leave on bail of $30,000 as first granted at the Supreme Court, with conditions the same except for checking in at the Caye Caulker Police Station, in the village in which she now resides, rather than San Ignacio Town.

Lead attorney for Hartin, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, noted that the court prosecutor laid out 26 different statements and 25 exhibits, some or all of which may be used to lay out the case against her at a future trial. But as he also noted, that trial may take some time and when it is actually heard will depend on the case management timelines set by the presiding court in order not to waste valuable court time.

It represents the start, Jemmott’s sister Marie Tzul told reporters on the island today, of “justice:” “All I will say is that my brother and his children deserve justice and I hope that it continues to prevail. But it has been a very emotional day for us. The whole planning to come has been emotional.”

As for strategy, a possible plea may be on the table, as Hartin has publicly admitted that she handled the weapon that killed Jemmott, but that it was an accident.

Bradley would only say that he continues to weigh in with two Queen’s Counsel from Britain who are offering legal assistance and that no decision has been made, but did not rule out such a plea, stating that there is precedent in the shared British-Belizean legal system: “…there are situations that can be classified as accidents. You can hit a person and cause death, but it is a genuine accident – either from failure of your brakes or another part of the vehicle or somebody run in front of your…whatever happens. An accident is a matter that a court would take into account. You can’t be treated as if you intended to take life where the situation is an accident. An accident actually goes to the credit of the person who is accused.”


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