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Jun 9, 2021

Jasmine Hartin Gets Bail

Jasmine Hartin

After spending eight days on remand at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville, Canadian national Jasmine Hartin has received bail. Within three hours, she was released from custody – notwithstanding the conditions put in place by Justice Herbert Lord. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from the Supreme Court in Belize City.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, Justice Herbert Lord handed down his decision in the bail application brought before the Supreme Court in the manslaughter by negligence case of Jasmine Hartin, charged for the shooting death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott. After written and verbal submissions were made by the prosecution and the defense attorney, the judge ruled that there is not an unacceptable risk with granting bail to the accused.


Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Jasmine Hartin

“The judge has granted bail.”


For two and a half hours this morning and then briefly this afternoon, submissions were presented followed by a wrap up by the judge who will deliver his ruling in writing at a later date.  During today’s hearing, Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell presented details as to why the D.P.P.’s Office is objecting to bail. From the onset, their objection was on the grounds that Hartin was considered a flight risk.



“What submissions will you be making to the judge?”


Shanice Lovell

Shanice Lovell, Crown Counsel [File: June 2nd, 2021]

“It’s in relation to her flight risk status.”



“Do you consider her a serious flight risk?”


Shanice Lovell

“Yes we do.” 


Godfrey Smith

“It was a very long day, with long arguments, but in the end the judge felt that there was not an unacceptable risk of flight once the appropriate conditions could be put in place.”


There were various aspects considered in the decision including the seriousness of the offense and the severity of punishment if the accused is convicted.  Also taken into account were: Hartin’s connection to Belize, the time limit for investigation, among many others.

Of note is that portions of Hartin’s caution statement were read before the court today, as Superintendent Henry Jemmott’s sister sat in on the session. Hartin said, “He asked me to hand him the magazine so he can reload it. I tried to take out the magazine, which was stuck and the firearm discharged.” Attorney Godfrey Smith also said that the senior cop had allowed his client to handle the firearm the previous week and that both the accused and the deceased were drinking leading up to the fatal shooting.

Smith in his presentation shared seven points, including a checklist used to counter the crown’s submission that Hartin is a flight risk.


Godfrey Smith

Godfrey Smith

“The question of whether you grant bail or not includes a whole list of factors: previous convictions, character of the person, economic ties to the country, family ties [and] community ties. And so basically the judge carefully went down the entire list and concluded that there was not an unacceptable risk of flight.”


Bail was issued in the sum of thirty thousand Belize dollars with one surety of the same amount with eight conditions. Aside from immediately surrendering her travel documents, IDs, social security card, Hartin was also placed on curfew – seven p.m. to six a.m. – and she will report to the police station on a daily basis between seven a.m. and five p.m., but not in San Pedro, but San Ignacio – as News Five confirmed with attorney Smith.


Godfrey Smith

“I didn’t make note of all of them, but bail was set in the sum of thirty thousand Belize dollars plus a surety of the same. Reportage to the police station once per day; request must be made to the court if there is a wish to travel. Obviously surrender of passport and all other documents and all forms of identification and a number of other conditions – curfew was one.”


Henry Jemmott

A copy of the restriction will be sent to the Immigration Director and the Commissioner of Police to be circulated to all formations and border entry points to ensure that Hartin adheres to the ruling of the court. Any breach will result in the immediate revocation of her bail. Just before five this evening, Hartin was released from prison.


Godfrey Smith

“Papers have to be signed, the order has to be finalised and of course the cash bail and the surety has to be signed up so we still have work to do to get that going.”



“Will that be concluded by the day?”


Godfrey Smith

“That is the hope. If you do not detain me much longer.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


During today’s hearing, it was revealed that Hartin has been living in Belize for the past seven years on a visitor’s permit that expired two days ago, on June seventh. She is described as self-employed and has four-year-old twins who live in San Pedro.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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