Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2023. 9:03 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: An official comment from now-convicted Jasmine Hartin says she will not take back her plea on Tuesday to a charge of manslaughter by negligence, attempting to explain the circumstances in which it was made.
Publicist Louisa Chiaramonte says her client did not have time to consult with her hired Canadian Senior Counsel, Seth Weinstein, who told Channel 7 News that his understanding was that Tuesday’s hearing was a case management conference in which the sentence indication would be revealed. Weinstein also noted he was having trouble being called to the Belize Bar in order to participate in the case. Nonetheless, he reiterated that his client’s intent was to spare her victim Henry Jemmott’s family the anguish of a trial and that the State has recognized that the events of May 28, 2021, were for the most part accidental.
We understand that Hartin’s former partner Andrew Ashcroft gave additional evidence as to her ability to handle a firearm and her state of inebriation on the night of the incident that will be taken into consideration. Weinstein says he has not seen a case in his time in practice in which a court, having the option to give a non-custodial sentence, i.e. a fine, decides to give prison time instead. The maximum time under the law is five years in prison.
As for Hartin, her statement says that the decision was the best possible outcome for all parties concerned. The press release quotes her as saying in part: “After a long and painful battle, at times dealing with politics, power and corruption at its core, it is of course a great relief to finally put an end to this heartbreaking and tragic accident involving one of her dearest friends,” and adds that she is now focused on wrapping up her legal issues and being reunited with her two children, who are in the legal custody of Andrew Ashcroft.
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