Bradley Says Hartin Should Have Never Given Statement

The preliminary inquiry into the killing of Senior Superintendent Henry Jemmott started today in San Pedro. Jasmin Hartin and her attorney Dickie Bradley were there to hear almost 100 pages of evidentiary disclosure. Hartin is accused of the manslaughter by negligence of Jemott on a San Pedro pier.

Speaking with us about the overall legal strategy yesterday, Dickie Bradley threw some professional shade at her last attorney when he said she should have never given a statement:

Dickie Bradley - Attorney-At-Law
"Jasmine Hartin returns to the San Pedro court for her to do the preliminary inquiry into the manslaughter by negligence allegation."

Cherisse Halsall
"And you've said that once you get your disclosure, your trial is likely to close, but once you go through the preliminary inquiry even more so, correct?"

Dickie Bradley
"Yes, and maybe, when you are given your disclosure and if it is an indictable matter that can only be tried in the supreme court when you go to a preliminary inquiry, you now join the cue in the supreme court. In her case, because the offense took place in the Belize judicial district it is to be tried in one of the supreme courts in Belize City. In the case of Jasmine Hartin what do we have, she may not have received the best legal advice. But the advice she had been given was that she gave a statement. I want to tell the people of Belize do not give statements to the police let them slap you and beat you and as you come out you run to the doctor and confirm that you have been beaten, don't give statements. So anyhow Jasmine gave a statement which she signed in the presence of the justice of the peace. Which magistrate will not say that she should not have a trial on the matter. And so I repeat myself do not give statements because you know let me just tell them what happens and lots of times police say oh just tell me what you want and give me the statement and go home, yeah right, don't fall for that trick. So, she gave a statement she is admitting that the officer died because she was handling the firearm so there is no getting out of that, that will go to trial."

Hartin Preliminary Inquiry Begins

And while Bradley is making the case in the curt of public opinion - in the real courtroom, he knows that the prosecution must prove her guilt. So, today, he and his client sat patiently through the PI procedure.

I was in that courtroom and spoke with Bradley when it was done:

Dickie Bradley - Attorney-At-Law
"Today the preliminary inquiry in relation to the manslaughter by negligence charge was conducted by magistrate Christina Perrera and there is a procedure where lawyers can challenge some of the evidence, some of the written evidence from witnesses. We notified the magistrate that we will leave that for another venue and that she could proceed to do what is called a paper committal. She would receive all the statements and the exhibits and if she is satisfied that among the evidence presented to her there is a charge to be answered then she will send the matter to the supreme court. She has done so. She has placed Ms. Jasmine Hartin on the same bail as was offered at the supreme court level. Miss Hartin has been able to meet that bail and so now she is now directed by the magistrate to appear at the supreme court jurisdiction which does matters for appeals and the villages in the Belize district on the 13th day of June which is when the June session of the supreme court gets underway. It doesn't say that the trial will start on that date but she will be in the supreme court in terms of no longer coming to the San Pedro magistrate court."

Among the listed evidence was the description of a photo of Hartin taken in the immediate aftermath of the manslaughter wearing a white tank top with a lace collar soaked in blood.

We'll keep following that case as it goes to trial - sometime later this year.

Channel 7

Jasmine Hartin to Stand Trial for Manslaughter by Negligence in Supreme Court

Jasmine Hartin was back today in the San Pedro Magistrate's Court today for a procedure known as paper committal. What that entails is that the evidence which will be used by the prosecutor in the Manslaughter by Negligence case against Hartin was presented to Magistrate Cristina Perrera. This included a long list of statements, exhibits, and documents recorded since May twenty-eighth 2021 when Superintendent Henry Jemmott was killed. While it was the original case file presented to the Magistrate today, copies had been issued to the accused during disclosure.� Hartin will stand trial at the next session of the Supreme Court, which opens in June of this year. News Five's Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Supreme Court bail conditions of thirty thousand dollars as well as checking in daily at the police station remain intact for Jasmine Hartin today when she appeared before Magistrate Cristina Perrera and was committed to stand trial for the Manslaughter by Negligence charge in the shooting death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott. This morning, sheaves of original documents and statements were presented in court, outlining the evidence that will be used during the Supreme Court trial.

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for Jasmine Hartin

"When a person is charged with an indictable offense that matter can’t be tried in a magistrate court so you must go to a preliminary inquiry in which the magistrate must be satisfied there is some evidence that warrants sending the matter to the Supreme Court. You would have heard me say to the magistrate, Miss Cristina Perrera that we are making no submissions that we will go along with what is called a paper committal. The prosecutor, Roman Andrews who was punctilious and properly prepared laid out the whole situation, made available twenty-six different statements and some twenty-five exhibits."

It will be up to the Crown Counsel from the D.P.P.'s Office to determine if all the statements, witnesses or exhibits that will be used come June thirteenth, when the Supreme Court session reopens.

Dickie Bradley

"She has been ordered to present herself to the Supreme Court on the thirteenth of June which is the opening of the June sessions for the Belize Judicial District and then thereafter, procedurally, she is basically going to be in a queue. You know Belize City di bubble and every time there is one trial, there are five more crimes taking place. So she will be in a queue and at some stage, which presiding judge will set a date for case management to determine if we need to have twenty-six witnesses parading into the court; if we will have more if we will have less. And set out the procedures so that when we go to court, there is no wastage of judicial time, which is very previous."

Since the tragic incident, relatives of Jemmott have been back and forth to the island, attending the court proceedings. They want justice for the death of the senior officer. Today's proceeding was emotional and Marie Tzul tells News Five that following the paper committal, they are hopeful that the family will get justice.

Marie Tzul, Sister of Henry Jemmott

"All I will say that my brother and his children deserve justice and I hope that it continues to prevail. But it has been a very emotional day for us. The whole planning to come has been emotional."

Duane Moody

"She has to sign for bail again for thirty thousand dollars and trial will start again in June. You think that the process is now speeding up?"

Marie Tzul

"Yes it is in his favour."

There was a delay in the processing of Hartin's bail because the surety was in Belize City and not San Pedro where the court proceeding took place today. Bradley explains the hiccup.

Dickie Bradley

"It's just a procedural process where the close of the procedure in a preliminary inquiry, a presiding magistrate would offer bail to the person. If it was murder, there would be no offer of bail. We made no submissions attacking any of the discrepancies on the statements because that is not necessary. And as I told Prosecutor Andrews, this is not the venue for me to raise those issues. All that is happening is that Miss Hartin is already on a Supreme Court bail. Judge Lord had given her a very high bail, thirty thousand dollars which involves either you deposit the cash which would affect the lawyer's fees or you have a land paper. In her case, she has sureties who have deposited land paper with the court system. The court here in San Pedro is liaising with the court in Belize City because of the matter of fact that she already had a surety and land paper. All the paper work is finished and you can ambush her on her way out of the court shortly."

Hartin, however, left the court around four p.m. today. Duane Moody for News Five.

One change that has been made to the bail arrangement is that Hartin can now check in with police each day in Caye Caulker where she resides, rather than San Ignacio.

Will Hartin Change Plea to Guilty?

Will Hartin change her plea? The Canadian has gone on American television program "48 Hours" saying on the night of May twenty-eighth, 2021 while she was on a pier in San Pedro Town with Superintendent Henry Jemmott, the gun she had in her hand accidentally went off and killed the senior officer. While with attorney Dickie Bradley today, News Five asked whether Hartin will be advised to change her plea to guilty to avoid wasting the court's time.

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for Jasmine Hartin

"You are correct, that is an option that is available. I am an attorney, I give legal advice on these matters and that is a matter that is on the table. I should repeat what has been said elsewhere. Jasmine has two offers from Britain where Queen's Counsel, meaning in their system, these are high ranking attorneys, have offered to assist in her trial. I am in communication with them, I am going to go on Skype shortly and give them an update as to what happened, and I am also going to be giving them a comment in terms of some interesting factors in the last set of disclosure that we received. But you are correct, in our system which is the British system and which is almost like Joe Biden's system; there are situations that can be classified as accidents. You can hit a person and cause death, but it is a genuine accident - either from failure of your brakes or another part of the vehicle or somebody run in front of your�whatever happens. An accident is a matter that a court would take into account. You can’t be treated as if you intended to take life where the situation is an accident. An accident actually goes to the credit of the person who is accused."

Channel 5