Gavin Hapgood (pictured in 2014), 44, has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly killing, Kenny Mitchel, 27, in Anguilla. He claims it was ‘self-defense’
The UBS investment banker who has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly killing a maintenance worker while vacationing with his wife and two children in Anguilla, was seen checking into another hotel just hours after the attack and acting ‘as if nothing had happened’.
Gavin Scott Hapgood, 44, was with his two young daughters in his hotel room at the upscale Malliouhana resort when Kenny Mitchel, 27, was killed there on April 13, according to police spokesman Randy Dick.
Hapgood claims the killing was ‘self-defense’.
On the day of the attack he was seen departing the Malliouhana resort and checking into the equally posh Four Seasons hotel where he and his family remained until it was time to return to the United States. Rooms at the exclusive hotel start at around $800 a night.
‘He was staying at the Malliouhana resort, where he killed Kenny. He checked into the Four Seasons the very first day it happened and stayed until his departure from the island.
‘I’ve spoken to staff and they said he didn’t act like someone who just had a traumatic event,’ Haydn Hughes, a former parliamentary secretary of tourism for the Caribbean island and a local radio host, told Page Six on Friday.
Police say that Hapgood’s two young daughters were in the room at the Malliouhana resort (above) when Mitchel died. Hapgood said he acted in self defense when Mitchel pulled a knife
Kenny Mitchel, 27, (left and right) died in Anguilla on April 13. Mitchel was a maintenance worker at the upscale Malliouhana resort, where Hapgood and his family were staying
Hapgood and his family headed to the exclusive Four Seasons resort down the road from the Malliouhana on the same day as the attack. He remained on the property for four days
Hapgood remained at the Four Seasons until he was charged four days later by authorities, with manslaughter.
He was released on a $74,000 bond that sparked anger among Anguillans, who are demanding that he return to face justice in the British territory of nearly 15,000 people.
The island is known for its rich and famous vacationers.
A source told the New York Post that they simply want the entire case to disappear: ‘It’s horrible for the island. Hotels have cancellations . . . The attitude is, “Don’t make a mess for tourism.” People are cautious about what information they’re giving, but the island is rallying behind Mitchel. There’s no racial divide. Anguilla just isn’t like that.’
Though Dick says police do not have a clear motive in the case, an island source said that Hapgood has claimed Mitchel pulled a knife and tried to rob him, prompting the banker to fight in self defense ‘to protect the lives of his young daughters and himself’.
‘Scott and the members of his family have been traumatized by the assault they survived and are thankful to be alive,’ a rep for Hapgood said.
Mitchel’s death certificate states that he was killed by ‘prone restraint, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.’
In a radio interview, Mitchel’s father alleged that during the incident that led to his son’s death, ‘none of them tried to take this man off my son, not one, from what I understood.’
He believed that people feared they would ‘lose their job for touching a tourist.’
Hapgood, an account manager with UBS Global Asset Management in New York City and lives in Darien, Connecticut.
Dick said Hapgood was originally held at Her Majesty’s Prison in Anguilla after he was denied bail, but he was later released on bond after his attorney appealed to the High Court.
U.S. public records show Hapgood had never been previously charged with a crime.
He’s due in back court in August.
Hapgood (pictured, during his arrest) was originally denied bail, but a judge later his application for $74,000 in bail. He is back in the US but must return to Anguilla by August 22
Video posted to Facebook shows Hapgood being handcuffed and led inside Her Majesty’s Prison, and another shows him after he was released being led to a private jet.
Hapgood’s release prompted a flurry of comments on social media both from residents of Anguilla demanding justice for Mitchel and from foreigners who regularly visit the island, with some saying local anger directed at tourists frightened them.
‘It’s clear that people are angry over this situation,’ Dick said.
‘They are very emotional about it. The police continue to perform in a very professional manner, and they allow the law to take its course.’
It is unclear how Mitchel ended up in Hapgood’s hotel room at the upscale Malliouhana resort where he worked.
Hapgood’s spokesperson told PageSix that ‘despite false reports to the contrary, the Hapgoods never called maintenance’.
According to the spokesperson, Mitchel showed up to the family’s room ‘unannounced in uniform’ and claimed ‘he was there to fix a broken sink before carrying out his sudden, violent attack on the family’.
Mitchel’s causes of death were ruled to be prone restraint, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso
Dick said that ‘there are only two persons who actually know what happened,’ adding that police still don’t have any definitive answers.
The case has been explosive in the small island community, and Dick took to Facebook to blast what he called ‘racial or prejudicial statements’ that he feared would taint the jury pool.
‘The comments being made on the RAPF Facebook have no foundation in fact and are likely to incite racial hatred and can prejudice a jury especially since they will be chosen from among the community of Anguilla,’ Dick said in a statement on the social media platform.
Dick declined to say whether Mitchel, who is from Dominica, had a criminal background.