Bullets found on the pier where socialite Jasmine Hartin shot dead a police chief in Belize support her claim that the killing was accidental, friends have said.
The 32-year-old has been in custody since Supt Henry Jemmott, 42, was found dead after sharing a drink with her on May 28.
She says the officer had been teaching her to load and unload his gun since recommending she buy one following a harassment incident.
‘At some point he said, “Let’s see if you’ve improved your gun skills”,’ Hartin, partner of the son of billionaire Conservative Party treasurer Lord Ashcroft, reportedly told police.
‘We’re sitting on the pier and I start loading and unloading his gun again.
‘The last time I did it, he took the bullets as I was unloading and placed them on the left side of him. I then put the gun, with the magazine clipped inside it, beside me to the right.’
Hartin then agreed to give a massage to the father-of-five whose shoulder was sore before he asked her to hand him the Glock 17.
‘I picked up the gun and tried to eject the magazine clip but it was stuck,’ she said.
‘I struggled with it, trying to get the magazine out, when the gun suddenly went off. I had no idea it still had a bullet in the chamber.’
The body of the 21st officer is said to have slumped on to Ms Hartin before he fell into the water. Police found a pile of unused bullets on the pier on the island of Ambergris Caye.
‘That was enough for the Director of Public Prosecutions to accept Jasmine’s account that she had been practising with the gun was substantially true,’ a source told The Mail On Sunday.
‘Otherwise how would those bullets have got there? There was no evidence of a deliberate intent to kill somebody.’
Mr Jemmott’s friend Francisco Arceo said: ‘Whatever has happened, this is a tragedy for two families, for two sets of children. Here on Belize we are praying for everyone.’
Canadian Hartin lives with Andrew Ashcroft, 43, and their twins at the Grand Colony hotel they run in the island’s capital San Pedro. She has been deemed a ‘flight risk’ and is in solitary confinement in prison ahead of her next bail hearing on Wednesday.
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