UK magnate’s daughter-in-law held in Belize police death

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The daughter-in-law of a politically influential British magnate was in custody in Belize on Saturday, under investigation in the shooting death of a police superintendent.

Police Commissioner Chester C. Williams told local media that Jasmine Hartin initially balked at making a statement, preferring to wait for the presence of her attorney. She was found on a dock near where police Superintendent Henry Jemmott was found dead early Friday in the town of San Pedro.

Williams said a single gunshot was heard “and upon investigating, police found the female on a pier, and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing.”

“A firearm was also seen on the pier that has been retrieved and we have learned that the firearm belonged to the police and was assigned to Mr. Jemmott,” he told a news conference Friday, adding that Hartin is in custody and being investigated in the death.

Hartin is the partner of Andrew Ashcroft, son of Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman of Britain’s Conservative Party and a major financial backer. He also holds Belizean citizenship and was once its representative before the United Nations.

The Associated Press has not been able to speak to Hartin or a lawyer representing her.

The incident “seems rather personal and not an attack,” Williams said. “From what we know is that they are friends. From what we have been made to understand they were drinking. From investigation they were alone on the pier and yes they were both fully clothed.”

He said Hartin “was somewhat in a emotional state walking herself on the pier. We believe that she is to some extent affected by it.”

LinkedIn accounts indicate that both the younger Ashcroft and Hartin were connected with a local resort in Belize.

Jemmott’s sister, Marie Jemmott Tzul, told told 7 News Belize television that her brother loved life and was the father of five children.

“The investigation can say something else but I think they killed him,” she said, adding the only information the family had was that he was with a woman she did not know and his body was found in the water.

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