Jasmine Hartin, the Canadian socialite and daughter-in-law of billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, is attempting to clear her reputation in a televised interview as she faces charges for killing a police superintendent in Belize.
“People perceive me as being… this wild, crazy, party girl that’s hanging from the rafters,” she told CBS correspondent Peter Van Sant, during a special set to air on Oct. 2. “That’s not it at all. I’m a businesswoman. I’m a mother. I’m a friend... I’m a wife.”
CBS spent three days in Belize reporting on Hartin, who insisted that she is “not a murderer.”
“That’s ridiculous,” she added. The 32-year-old said she shot the police officer, her friend Henry Jemmott, in a tragic accident, after the pair had been drinking before heading to a local pier.
Jemmott tried to teach Hartin how to use his Glock 17, she said, believing that she needed a firearm for personal protection.
“‘Can you hand me the magazine from the gun?’” she recounted him saying. “I’m trying to get the magazine out. Next thing I know, the gun went off.”
After she shot him, “all I could feel [was] warmth,” Hartin told CBS. “And I later then realized he was bleeding on me.”
Police found her on the pier, dazed and covered in blood.
Jemmott’s family doesn’t buy the story. “My brother was shot behind the ear … execution style,” his sister Cherry told the network. The family is pushing for murder charges; Hartin has been charged with manslaughter by negligence.
Some locals also think Hartin has been treated leniently, owing to her father-in-law’s wealth. Hartin has two kids with Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew, a developer who owns the Belize resort where she lived.
The saga has played out in global headlines since last spring. In May, Hartin was arrested and sent to the brutal Belize Central Prison.
“When I arrived there I said, this is not right, my lawyer doesn’t know I'm here, I need to make a call,” she previously told the Daily Mail. “They said, ‘Sorry sweetie, the phones are locked already for the day—now take your clothes off, we’re strip-searching you.’”
Hartin was released on bail—though prosecutors had pushed for her to remain locked up—contingent on good behavior. She found herself briefly back in prison after she confronted Ashcroft for allegedly keeping her kids away from her. He denied the allegations, claiming that she had “abandoned the residence I had arranged for her without informing myself, the police, or the security guards and disappeared to an unknown location.”
Officials levied two additional charges against Hartin, common assault and drug possession.
In July, her family launched a GoFundMe page to solicit donations for her defense. It ultimately raised less than $2,500.
Ashcroft has reportedly been granted interim custody over the children.