Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2022. 2:31 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Before Supreme Court Justice Ricardo O’Neal Sandcroft this morning, Jasmine Hartin pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter by negligence in the death of Senior Superintendent of Police Henry Jemmott on May 27, 2021.
Hartin is defended by counsel Richard “Dickie” Bradley while Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal appeared for her office.
The Canadian-born socialite is accused of negligently handling a firearm and causing the death of Jemmott on a pier in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. She insists it was purely accidental.
Case management has been set for September 27 with a trial date to be agreed on for a later time.
Bradley indicated to our court reporter that it is not clear whether the case will be tried by a jury or by a judge alone as the legislation which targets trial by judge in cases of murder and manslaughter is not specific on manslaughter by negligence. In practice, such cases have been tried by a jury, but there is the concern of pre-trial publicity affecting the chance to obtain a true and honest verdict from a nine-member jury.
Bradley also indicated that the court would call on media representatives at an appropriate time to set out the procedure for conduct and behaviour in the courtroom during this trial in the interest of fairness and being able to provide the facts – and not opinions on those facts – of the case as they develop.
Hartin remains out on bail previously granted by the court.
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