United States

Supporters Rally for Darien Man Charged With Manslaughter in Anguilla

People are rallying in support of a Darien man who is accused of killing a hotel worker in Anguilla.

Friends and family of Scott Hapgood and state officials rallied around Hapgood on Monday and are calling on Anguilla to guarantee his safety when he returns there next month.

"What happened to the Hapgood family in Anguilla is every American's worst nightmare. To be attacked, to be subject to criminal proceedings in a foreign jurisdiction, to be denied return to this country. And then to have the continuing threat of unfair and possibly secret criminal proceedings against them should never happen to any American," U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said.

Sen. Blumenthal said he has written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to work with the United Kingdom to protect Hapgood's safety.

"We want, very simply, fair and transparent proceedings and safety and security for Scott Hapgood as he goes through those proceedings. That means that he should be given all the rights that he should have in those proceedings that provide for due process and basic safeguards of fundamental fairness," Sen. Blumenthal added.

Hapgood was on vacation with his family in April. He said he and his family were inside of his hotel room when a worker came to fix a sink.

Hapgood's lawyer said 27-year-old Kenny Mitchell was armed when a knife and a fight broke out.

A police and coroner's report said Mitchell was beaten and choked to death.

"We are still in shock that a simple vacation that we looked forward to for so long turned into a nightmare. All we wanted to do was vacation as a family. This nightmare is new reality. I have not been allowed to return to work, where I have worked for over 20 years. I have been disqualified from coaching my kids' sports teams, which gave me a sense of purpose," said Hapgood.

Hapgood is charged with manslaughter and will travel back to Anguilla in November to fight his charges.

"We're here today to stand with and beside the Hapgood family as a community and to ask for transparency and fairness in the judicial process and safe passage for Scott as he travels back to Anguilla in a few days," Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson added.

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