Connecticut Dad Charged in Anguilla Family Vacation Death Mystery Skips Hearing for Safety, Spokesman Says

The father facing manslaughter charges says he was fighting to protect his family as the hotel worker entered their room with a knife in an attempt to rob them

What to Know

  • Scott Hapgood faces manslaughter charges for the April 13 killing that took place in his hotel room, right in front of his two daughters
  • The Connecticut dad says he was fighting to protect his family as Kenny Mitchell, 27, entered their room with a knife in a robbery attempt
  • He was supposed to go to Anguilla for a pretrial hearing but a spokesman said officials couldn't assure him of his client's safety

The Connecticut father charged in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla has declined to return to the British Caribbean territory for the latest pretrial hearing. 

A spokesman for Scott Hapgood says Anguillan officials have not given assurances that his client would be allowed to return home on bond. Spokesman Jamie Diaferia says there also have been death threats against Hapgood, adding that Anguilla officials rejected an offer for Hapgood to appear by video Monday. 

Hapgood and his family say a hotel worker, Kenny Mitchel, showed up at their room unannounced during their April vacation and demanded money before attacking them. Mitchel died and Hapgood was charged with manslaughter. 

Elected officials including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) had expressed concern about Hapgood's safety.

Hapgood kept silent on the ordeal for months, but spoke out publicly for the first time in August to call the whole situation a “living nightmare.”

“We’re hanging on by a thread, to be honest with you,” Hapgood said at the time. “It was a terrifying incident, it was a terrifying experience on the island post-arrest.”

The investment banker says he was fighting to protect his family as Mitchel entered their room with a knife in an attempt to rob them, and then died during the struggle. The accused killer did not go into details regarding specifics of the attack, just that he was acting in self-defense and trying to save his wife and three children.

Hapgood said that Mitchel initially arrived at their room wearing his hotel uniform, saying he needed to fix their sink — even though they never called for a repair. Things turned sour quickly, and the Darien resident ended up bloody and bruised, while Mitchel wound up dead.

“I know that I was a victim, or my family was a victim here," Hapgood said.

Family and locals on the British territory said that Mitchel was a fun-loving father and would have no reason to rob tourists. New toxicology reports may help Hapgood’s claims of self-defense, however, as Mitchel was found with cocaine, marijuana and alcohol in his system.

“We want the same thing as the people of Anguilla, for the truth to come out,” Hapgood said. “I think the truth will come out, and I look forward to that.”

Authorities in Anguilla declined requests for comment.

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