The socialite daughter-in-law of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft only confessed to accidentally shooting dead a top cop on Belize after she was threatened with cocaine charges, according to local reports.
Jasmine Hartin — who was denied bail Monday — initially claimed San Pedro Superintendent Henry Jemmott had been shot dead early Friday by someone from a passing boat, police told 7 News Belize.
She then clammed up — but started cooperating when local authorities told her she would be charged with cocaine possession, the station said.
She then “provided a statement under caution,” Belize Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the station.
Hartin — a Canadian who lives in Belize with her husband, Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew Ashcroft — said she had been giving the top cop a massage while they were drinking together on a pier when she accidentally shot him while handing him his service Glock pistol, local reports said.
He fell on her — and as she panicked to get him off, his body fell in the water, where it was found, police have said.
Jemmott’s family has raised doubts over her story, however, with one sister, assistant police superintendent Cherry Jemmott, saying that he “had a gunshot behind his ear like an assassination.”
“He was a top cop. I don’t know how he let down his guard to be shot with his own gun,” she told the Daily Mail.
Sources also told 7 News Belize that the dead cop’s Glock had a trigger safety built into it, describing an accidental discharge as almost impossible.
However, the station noted that the charge Hartin faces — manslaughter by negligence — rarely carries a prison sentence and is more likely to end in a fine if she pleads guilty.
Hartin — the director of lifestyle and experience at the Alaia Belize, a luxury resort developed by her hubby — is being represented by one of the Central American nation’s top lawyers, former Attorney General Godfrey Smith.