SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A spokeswoman for a U.S. financial adviser charged with killing a hotel worker while on a family vacation in Anguilla said late Thursday that he acted in self-defense and accused the victim of attacking him.
Kelcey Kintner released a statement alleging the worker showed up at Scott Hapgood’s room unannounced, saying he was there to fix a broken sink. The statement says the worker was armed and demanded money before attacking the family on April 13.
“Scott Hapgood acted in self-defense to protect the lives of his young daughters and himself,” it read.
A spokesman for Anguilla police did not immediately return a message for comment. Relatives of the victim, 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel of Dominica, could not be reached for comment. He worked at the upscale Malliouhana resort, which did not return messages for comment.
The case has sparked racial tensions on a Caribbean island that caters to wealthy tourists, and some Anguillans are demanding that Hapgood return to face justice in the British territory of nearly 15,000 people.
An autopsy report shows Mitchel died of positional asphyxia and received blunt force injuries to his torso and other areas.
Police spokesman Randy Dick has declined to say whether Mitchel had a criminal background. U.S. public records show Hapgood had never been previously charged with a crime.
Hapgood’s attorney, Thomas Astaphan, has declined to comment.
Hapgood, 44, was charged with manslaughter and was initially denied bond and ordered held at Her Majesty’s Prison in Anguilla. After Astaphan appealed to the High Court, Hapgood was released on $74,000 bond and returned to Connecticut.
He faces an Aug. 22 hearing in Anguilla.