Revised Autopsy: Caribbean resort employee in fight with Darien man had lethal levels of cocaine in bloodstream

Friends defend Darien man charged in Anguilla killing

(WTNH) — A new twist in the case of a Darien man facing manslaughter charges after a fight with a hotel employee in the Caribbean island of Anguilla this past April.

The New York Times reports a revised autopsy on hotel employee Kenny Mitchel, 27, reveals he did not die from injuries received from the fight between him and Gavin Scott Hapgood, 44 of Darien, Connecticut.

Mitchel was found to have a lethal dose of cocaine in his bloodstream. The new report, dated Sept. 3, suggests Mitchel was essentially dying when he entered the Hapgood’s suite, and would have died that day anyway.

Related: Hapgood appears in court in Anguilla for preliminary hearing in manslaughter case

The NYT reveals Hapgood’s lawyer requested the separate analysis from the same coroner, which provided similar results to the previous autopsy.

The new autopsy found Mitchel to have 1,900 nanograms per milliliter of cocaine in his system. It’s “widely accepted” that 900 nanograms per milliliter is a lethal dose of cocaine, according to The NYT.

The NYT says the separate analysis shows Mitchel also had alcohol in his bloodstream; his blood alcohol level was 0.18, around twice the legal limit.

Mitchel came to the suite that day to fix a sink, when he and Hapgood immediately started fighting. Hapgood claimed Mitchel demanded money and threatened him with a knife in front of his family. Hapgood held Mitchel down until the police arrived.

Since the fight on April 13, Hapgood has been charged with manslaughter. He was able to post the $74,000 bond and return home to Darien in between hearings. He has been placed on leave from his job at UBS Investment Bank for the time being. Preliminary hearings will continue in Anguilla on November 11.


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