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Anguilla seeking arrest of American man accused of killing hotel worker

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 9:07 AM
In this August 20, 2019 file photo, Scott Hapgood (right) a US financial adviser charged with killing a hotel worker while on vacation in Anguilla, and his lawyer Juliya Arbisman hold a media conference in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Officials in Anguilla are preparing a warrant for the arrest of a Connecticut man who refused to return to the Caribbean island to face charges in the death of a hotel resort worker, the attorney general for the British territory said Tuesday.

Attorneys for Scott Hapgood, of Darien, said he skipped Monday’s pretrial hearing because Anguilla officials did not provide assurances he would be allowed to remain free on bond and he was worried about his safety.

Anguilla is subject to an extradition treaty between the US and Britain and the standoff could set up a diplomatic clash over a case that has caught the attention of President Donald Trump.

Hapgood and his family say a hotel worker, Kenny Mitchel, 27, of Dominica, showed up at their room unannounced during their April vacation and demanded money, then attacked them. Mitchel died, and Hapgood, who said he acted in self-defence, was charged with manslaughter.

An autopsy report showed Mitchel died of positional asphyxia and received blunt force injuries to his torso and other areas.

Hapgood’s representatives said a toxicology report showed that Mitchel was found to have drugs, including cocaine, in his system.

Anguilla’s attorney general said Hapgood’s concerns about his safety and the fairness of proceedings are “totally groundless.”

Hapgood’s $74,000 bond was forfeited and the arrest warrant, once obtained, will be shared with Interpol, officials said.

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