Darien man charged with manslaughter to head back to Anguilla court this month
A Darien man plans to return to Anguilla later this month to face charges related to the death of a hotel worker there last spring.
Gavin Scott Hapgood was arrested by the Royal Anguilla Police Force on April 16, charged with manslaughter in the April 13 death of Kenny Mitchell, reportedly an employee at the hotel at which Hapgood and his family were staying.
Hapgood will return to the Caribbean Island for an Aug. 22 court date, Kelcey Kintner, who has been serving as the family spokesman since the spring, confirmed.
The Royal Anguilla Police Force also confirmed they expect Hapgood to be at his court date to The Darien Times via Facebook message.
The case sparked an outcry on the island when Hapgood was granted bail. Hapgood and his family say he was defending himself and his family.
The Hapgood family issued a detailed statement in early May of their account of the events leading up to the Mitchell’s death. In it, the family says Mitchell entered their room under false pretenses and attacked Hapgood’s wife and children, and Hapgood fought back.
“When Scott and our family went on vacation, we never thought he would end up defending himself and our young children against an armed intruder. We were excited for our first family vacation abroad in the beautiful and tranquil Caribbean island of Anguilla. But with a single knock at the door, our dream vacation turned into a chilling nightmare—a literal fight to survive,” the statement read.
The family said it cooperated fully with local authorities in Anguilla following the attack, and their first-hand accounts of the events were taken by police.
“Scott Hapgood did what any parent would do — defend himself and his children. And thanks to his actions, Scott and our family survived this terrible encounter,” the family statement read.
Bail was initially denied when Hapgood appeared in Magistrate Court April 17, and he was ordered held in Anguilla until his Aug. 22 court date. But later that day, Hapgood’s counsel made an application to The High Court Judge for consideration for the granting of bail. Hapgood was granted bail in the sum of $200,000 East Caribbean dollars, the equivalent of approximately $75,000, and released, to return this month in court.
Hapgood being allowed to leave the island sparked outrage among residents on there, which they shared on on social media.
In April, someone alleging to be Mitchell’s family contacted The Darien Times via Facebok message, describing what “a strong, loving and kind-hearted person Kenny was. He came from a great Christian family. We all loved Kenny. He brought joy to a lot of people. Please help us get justice in anyway u can. We are praying.”
A Go Fund Me account established in April for the family Mitchell, also known as Mylez, left behind raised $3,470 of the $120,000 goal.
“Mylez [Mitchell] and Emily both migrated to Anguilla. Mylez from Dominica at a very young age and Emily from the UK. They found love on Anguilla and together had a beautiful baby girl named Mylie,” the organizers wrote. The money was to pay for funeral expenses and family support.
Messages sent to Mitchell support pages, the above family member and to Hapgood’s lawyer were not returned. The spokesman for the Hapgood family said the family had no further comment at this time.