Scott Hapgood seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed by estate of man he’s accused of killing
DARIEN — The 44-year-old businessman charged with manslaughter in the death of an Anguillan resort employee contends he was stabbed by Kenny Mitchel and wants the lawsuit filed by the man’s family dropped, according to documents filed Thursday in federal court.
Scott Hapgood is considered a "fugitive" by Anguillan authorities after he refused to appear on the island in November to address the manslaughter charge in Mitchel’s April 13, 2019 death.
In response to a lawsuit filed by Mitchel’s estate, Hapgood’s attorney Michael Conroy contends the Darien man suffered stab wounds in Mitchel’s unprovoked attack and robbery attempt. Conroy also said Mitchel’s father and the mother of his child have no standing in the estate or the civil court action.
The documents detail a violent struggle between the 27-year-old Mitchel and Hapgood, who said he was defending himself and his daughters. In the court documents, Conroy described Mitchel as being “under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol” as the attack occurred.
Mitchel pulled out a “Leatherman” utility knife, which he used to stab Hapgood during the confrontation, the documents said. Hapgood was also bitten several times by Mitchel and had to undergo testing for communicable diseases, including HIV, his attorney said.
Conroy denied nearly all of the allegations laid out in the Mitchel estate lawsuit and said Hapgood wants the civil action dismissed and a variety of damages and his attorney’s fees paid by the younger man’s family.
Hapgood has filed his own lawsuit against the chain that owns the Anguillan resort where the incident occurred.
Hapgood contends that Mitchel unexpectedly showed up at his room at the Malliouhana Resort on April 13 to fix a sink that wasn't reported broken.
Hapgood had been at the resort vacationing with his family, including his young daughters, two of whom were in the room when Mitchel arrived.
Mitchel was an employee of the resort and was wearing a hotel uniform when he showed up at the room, according to Hapgood's attorneys.
Hapgood acted in self-defense when he fought with Mitchel who he said pulled out a knife, demanded money and began attacking him, according to papers filed his attorney Thursday.
Hapgood restrained Mitchel for nearly an hour as resort officials failed to call police or an ambulance, court documents said.
Mitchel died about an hour later, the lawsuit said. Hapgood’s lawsuit also mentions Mitchel's cause of death was attributed to a cocaine overdose based on an Anguillan toxicology report.
The lawsuit filed by Mitchel's estate said the 27-year-old died as a result of Hapgood keeping his arm on the younger man's neck for more than 40 minutes.
Hapgood was charged with manslaughter by Anguillan authorities a few days after the incident.
The incident has sparked international outrage and has been the focal point of speculation on what went on in Hapgood's hotel room leading up to Mitchel’s death.
Anguillan authorities threatened to obtain a warrant to bring Hapgood back to the island to face continued prosecution. It is unclear if the manslaughter case is moving forward without Hapgood or if the warrant has been obtained.