ANGUILLA/U.S.A – A Connecticut Financial Advisor charged with manslaughter in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla, is claiming self-defense, according to news reports.
NBC News has reported that Scott Hapgood, 44, said the victim, Kenny Mitchel, 27, was an armed intruder.
But the family of the deceased insists that he was not a criminal, the news network reported
Mitchel met his death on April 13 at the Malliouhana resort, NBC News said.
It reported that the suspect released a picture of his bloodied and bruised face, which he said resulted from a fatal fight with Mitchel.
“We were excited for our first family vacation abroad in the beautiful and tranquil Caribbean island of Anguilla,” according to a family statement. “But with a single knock at the door, our dream vacation turned into a chilling nightmare — a literal fight to survive.”
Hapgood, who lives in Darien, Connecticut, insisted he never called for a maintenance worker to come to his room, and said he instinctively allowed Mitchel into his room because he was wearing a hotel uniform, according to NBC.
“Neither Scott nor any member of our family knew the attacker before April 13, 2019, when he came to our room, dressed in the hotel’s uniform,” it quoted the family statement as saying.
“The man knocked on the door, saying he was there to fix a broken sink. Scott indicated the sinks were not broken as far as he was aware, but that the man was free to have a look. Like any of us would, he trusted a hotel staff person in uniform,” NBC reported the family statement as saying.
But the news network observed that the statement didn’t detail exactly how the brawl started.
Mitchel died from the beating and choking he endured in Hapgood’s room, according to police and a coroner’s report.
NBC News said Hapgood’s defense team has previously said Mitchel was armed with a knife.
Hapgood is free on bail before his next court appearance, set for Aug. 22, it stated. “Court proceedings in Anguilla have been scheduled for August. While we wait, a fair and just process for Scott must be ensured as his future hangs in the balance,” according to the family statement quoted by NBC News.