Connecticut man claims self-defense in killing of Anguilla resort worker

Conn. man charged in death of resort worker

A Connecticut man is claiming self-defense in the death of a hotel worker while he was on a family vacation in the Caribbean. Scott Hapgood is charged with killing Kenny Mitchel on the island of Anguilla earlier this month.

Anguilla's police department said officers were called to investigate Mitchel's death shortly after 4 p.m. on April 13. The 27-year-old father worked at a luxury resort on the island's west end. An autopsy report shows he died of "blunt force trauma" and suffocation.

CBS News' Mola Lenghi reports three days later, police charged Hapgood with manslaughter. The 44-year-old was vacationing on the island with his family and staying at the hotel where Mitchel was allegedly employed as a maintenance worker.

A spokeswoman for Hapgood said "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." She alleges he "was armed and demanding money."

Mitchel's uncle, Victor, said that's not true.

"Kenny was just not a person who'd give anybody problems," he said.

Hapgood was originally denied bail from prison, but later released on a $74,000 bond following an appeal from his attorney. Local reports say many Anguillans are angry and demanding Hapgood return to the island to face justice.

The British territory of nearly 15,000 people often attracts wealthy vacationers. On social media, Anguilla's former head of tourism urged residents not to allow the case to tarnish the island's reputation, adding they continue to "welcome visitors."

Hapgood is a financial adviser. He's due back in court in Anguilla in August. His attorney on the island told a local newspaper "he has every intention to return to Anguilla to clear his name."