It's been a little more than 24-hours since Jasmine Hartin was released
on bail from the Belize Central Prison.
And since then questions have abounded about Belize's most famous
manslaughter suspect and how she's settling back into life on the
Tonight Cherisse Halsall takes a look at those first 24 hours and we
ask questions of our own about Hartin's bail, the conditions of that
bail, and why the DPP chose manslaughter over murder:
The next chapter of Jasmine Hartin's life under the glare of public
scrutiny has begun and it started yesterday afternoon when she left the
Hattieville prison under an improvised shroud amidst the din of clicking
camera shutters and the shout of a reporter, the first she's heard but
certainly not the last.
From there she was whisked off presumably to San Ignacio where her attorney
has indicated to police, she will remain while she is out on bail.
But she has to check into the police station every day.
And that started at 7:00 this morning where she checked in at the same
police station where her friend turned victim Henry Jemmott was formerly
the officer commanding.
The irony of this is magnified by the fact that Hartin is now resident in
the same town that Jemmott called home.
Of course, we know that Hartin and Jemmott's friendship had some resonance
in the west where on May 21st he is believed to have saved her from an
uncomfortable or threatening situation at a party in Belmopan. Jemmott
drove a reported 50 miles to go and pick her up where one of his friends
says she was highly intoxicated and that he found her staggering out into
That rescue ended here at the San Pedro Belize Express where he dropped her
off a few minutes to 6:00. He's seen asking an employee entering the
terminal what time is the first boat. She walks in to take a seat, and
according to eyewitnesses cries inconsolably for over an hour.
What caused the crying? There are many theories but no one can say for
And while the country makes guesses about the missing pieces of the puzzle
in the case of Jasmine and Jemmott, another question on the mind of every
Belizean is that charge of Manslaughter.
Was it fair? And would the average citizen to commit such a crime get the
same treatment? We put that question to two attorneys, one the Minister of
police and the other the former attorney general.
Hon. Kareem Musa - Minister of Home Affairs
"In a case of manslaughter by negligence, it is expected that you would get
bail. I don't know of anyone who is currently behind bars for a case of
manslaughter by negligence, if they apply to the supreme court they would
be granted bail and of course, they look at all the factors, whether you're
a flight risk and all of that, but like I said, I don't know of anybody who
is currently on remand for manslaughter by negligence, it's a bailable
Micheal Peyrefitte - Former Attorney General
"It would be dishonest of me not to at least say what I think in this case.
I mean it's hard to from my experience, most people from who I have known
to be in the system you injure somebody like that the charge is murder. So,
it's a legitimate question to ask why is it in this case, the charge is not
"Suppose he had pulled the trigger "accidentally", quote, on her, do you
think he would have been charged with manslaughter by negligence?"
"If he had shot her, if it had been the reverse, he would have been charged
for triple murder. I mean, I mean, that's the thing it's a legitimate
"So, you believe race and power are at play here?"
Micheal Peyrefitte - Former Attorney General
"Absolutely. I'm not saying that's what's at play but it is a legitimate
question to ask."
As we've told you Hartin's bail was set at $30,000.00 and one surety.
The 8 conditions of that bail are: That she immediately surrender her
passport and any other travel and identification documents to the Court
Registrar until the conclusion of the case, That she does not leave the
jurisdiction except with permission from the court via an application,
That she attends each adjournment as set by the Magistrate in San Pedro
until the matter is completed, that she abide by a curfew to be at her
place of residence between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily until the matter is
Additionally, she is to report to the San Ignacio police station once
daily between 7 a.m. and 5 pm.; she is not to engage in any conduct to
hinder, impede or otherwise obstruct the investigation. Any breach of
the terms of the order will result in the immediate revocation of bail.