Darien man charged in hotel worker’s death skips Anguilla hearing, cites safety concerns

Crime

DARIEN, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — A Connecticut man 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.

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 had expressed concern about Hapgood’s safety.

Blumenthal released the following statement regarding the Hapgood case:

“This difficult decision was for the family to make, and only the family could fully assess the personal risks and uncertainties. I worked with Senate colleagues and the State Department in seeking to assure Scott Hapgood’s physical safety and fair, transparent legal proceedings.

The State Department had discussions with British and Anguillan authorities. I continue to stand ready to help the Hapgood family in any appropriate way.”

– Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Diaferia said Anguilla officials rejected an offer for Hapgood to appear by video link for Monday’s hearing.

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