As outrage pours out in Anguilla over the killing of a local hotel maintenance worker, an unofficial motive has apparently been unveiled as for why an American banker allegedly ended the islander’s life.
Kenny Mitchel, 27, was in the hotel room at an upscale Malliouhana resort with Connecticut financial adviser Gavin Hapgood, 44. On April 13, Hapgood is alleged to have killed Mitchel while his two daughters were in the room, according to The Associated Press.
A death certificate obtained by The Anguillian reveals Mitched died due to “prone restraint, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso.”
Hapgood was on vacation with his wife and their children at the time.
Hapgood has been charged with manslaughter and was released on $74,000 bond, after which he returned to the United States. Initially, according to the Royal Anguilla Police Force, the U.S. tourist was taken to the Magistrate Court on April 17 and was denied bail. He was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison but was successful in getting an application for bail granted.
Hapgood’s release has outraged Anguillians, who have demanded he returns to the British territory.
“The RAPF has executed their function and likewise both courts adjudicated over the matter,” local police commissioner Elliott Forbes said in a statement issued April 20. “This matter is now before a competent court and the law should be allowed to take its course without interference. I am aware that members of the public have different views on the issue and you are entitled to your respective views and I respect your views, I also respect your fundamental rights of freedom of expression, all I am asking Is that you do not say or do anything that can jeopardize the case and let the process take its course.”
Hapgood, who works for UBS Securities in New York, is due back in court in Anguilla on Aug. 22.
“We are aware of the recent events in Anguilla and are following the situation closely,” a spokesperson for the company told People magazine. “As you will appreciate, it would not be appropriate for us to provide any comment in relation to an active criminal proceeding.”
While police say they do not yet have a motive in the case, an Anguilla source told the Daily Mail Wednesday that Hapgood has claimed Mitchel pulled a knife and attempted to rob him, which led the banker to defend himself. Heavy.com states that unverified reports claim Hapgood specifically summoned Mitchel to his hotel room that fateful day.
Still, police spokesman Randy Dick said there are no definitive answers concerning the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“There are only two persons who actually know what happened,” he told the AP.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up in support of Mitchel’s funeral arrangements, who used the name Mylez on Facebook.
Hapgood’s Angullian attorney told People magazine he is unable to comment on the case and Mitchel’s family is “too upset to talk,” the publication reported.