UPDATE: Spokesman for Darien man charged with manslaughter in Anguilla issues official statement
UPDATE — Thursday 7:30 p.m. — An official statement has been released by a spokesman for Darien's Scott Hapgood. Below is the statement:
On-the Record Statement by Kelcey Kintner, Spokeswoman for Scott Hapgood
"Attacked without warning in his family’s hotel room by a maintenance worker who was armed and demanding money, Scott Hapgood acted in self-defense to protect the lives of his young daughters and himself.
Despite false reports to the contrary, the Hapgoods never called maintenance. Neither invited nor expected, the worker showed up unannounced in uniform at the hotel room, claiming he was there to fix a broken sink before carrying out his sudden, violent attack on the family.
A dedicated father and husband and respected member of his community, Scott and the members of his family have been traumatized by the assault they survived and are thankful to be alive."
APRIL 21 — A Darien man has been charged with manslaughter by the Royal Anguilla Police Force. Gavin Scott Hapgood was charged on April 16 for the April 13 death of Kenny Mitchell, reportedly an employee at the hotel at which Hapgood and his family were staying. The Royal Anguilla Police Force has been updating its Facebook page with the events surrounding the case.
"Having reviewed the evidence gathered in the process; in the form of statements and the pathology report, we later sought legal advice from the Attorney General Chambers as it related to this case as we are required to do by law. Based on the legal advice that was given a decision was made to charge Mr. Gavin Hapgood for the offence of manslaughter," was posted yesterday by Elliott Forbes, Commissioner of Police.
Hapgood was taken to the Magistrate Court on April 17, where bail was initially denied, and he was remanded to prison in Anguilla until Aug. 22, 2019, Royal Police reported. On the same date, Hapgood's counsel made an application to The High Court Judge for consideration for the granting of bail, Royal Police said. Hapgood was granted bail in the sum of $200,000 East Caribbean dollars, the equivalent of approximately $75,000, and reportedly released — to return to appear in court on Aug. 22.
Hapgood is reportedly a financial advisor at UBS.
Hapgood was on vacation with his family in Anguilla staying at a hotel in the West End of the island and Mitchell (whose name has been spelled a variety of ways in public posts) was an employee of the same hotel, local newspaper The Anguillian reported.
"The RAPF has executed their function and likewise both courts adjudicated over the matter. This matter is now before a competent court and the law should be allowed to take its course without interference. I am aware that members of the public have different views on the issue and you are entitled to your respective views and I respect your views, I also respect your fundamental rights of freedom of expression, all i am asking Is that you do not say or do anything that can jeopardize the case and let the process take its course," Forbes posted.
Many social media posts expressed anger and frustration that Hapgood was released on bail. The official Facebook page of the Government of Anguilla urged the public to reserve judgement and let the process take its course.
"Many of the comments that are posted on social media and the utterances on some broadcast media can give the impression that our anger goes beyond the accused and seeks to attack a wider group of people. Anguilla has been known for its welcoming and friendly people --- let us not come across as if we are spreading hate to visitors and friends of Anguilla. That is not the attitude that has recommended us to the world as a place that is famous for its hospitality, and where peace and tranquility resides," the government page posted Saturday.
The specific details of the events leading to Hapgood's arrest are unclear.
Hapgood played lacrosse for Darien High School and holds the record for the most points scored in the 1992 season, 94.
Attempts to reach Hapgood's family and attorney in Anguilla have so far been unsuccessful.