Accused cop killer Jasmin Hartin, 32, has received bail.
On Wednesday, June 9, the Canadian national was released from the Belize Central Prison, after having been incarcerated for eight days at the institution for the shooting death of Superintendent of Police Henry Jemmott.
Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord handed down the decision to grant Hartin bail at the sum of $30,000 plus a surety of the same amount. As part of her bail conditions, Hartin is to check in at the San Ignacio Police Station each day and is to hand over all her travel documents to the court and seek their consent if she wishes to travel.
The accused has also been placed under a curfew which stipulates that she must remain at home between the hours of 7:00 p.m and 6:00 a.m and have been warned not to contact any prosecution witness or attempt to obstruct the investigation against her. To ensure that Hartin meets all of her bail conditions a copy of the restrictions will be sent to the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Immigration for dissemination to all formations and border entry points countrywide.
Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell argued for objection to bail stating that Hartin was considered a flight risk. Lovell pointed out that Hartin was not a Belizean but was a Canadian national that has been living in the country for the past seven years through the continuous extension of a visitor’s permit. It was also brought up that while Hartin is the mother of twins, both of her children hold dual citizenship and can leave the jurisdiction whenever they like. Among her many arguments, Lovell also pointed out to the court that Hartin is a person of means and has vast disposal of resources at her fingertips which could easily enable her to flee the country quite easily.
In response, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith pointed out to the court that Hartin has a right to bail on the basis that she be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Smith also noted that Hartin has strong economic ties to the country and that anyone in their right mind would not risk becoming a fugitive for Manslaughter by Negligence charge which does not carry a hefty penalty.
Immediately after the court proceedings, Smith told the media: “The judge has granted bail. 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. Basically, the question of whether you grant bail or not includes a whole list of factors: previous convictions, the character of the person, economic ties to the country, family ties, community ties. And so basically the judge carefully went down the list and concluded that there was not an unacceptable risk of flight.”
Hartin attended the court proceedings virtually. In court, it was revealed that Hartin had claimed that she had accidentally shot Jemmott while attempting to unload his firearm.