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Details Released In Manslaughter Case Involving Darien Financial Adviser

A man from Darien was arrested in Anguilla and charged with manslaughter.
A man from Darien was arrested in Anguilla and charged with manslaughter. Photo Credit: Google Maps

New details have emerged in the case of a Fairfield County financial adviser who was charged with manslaughter while vacationing with his family in Anguilla.

Darien resident Gavin Hapgood, 44, a UBS financial adviser, was arrested for alleged manslaughter after the Royal Anguilla Police Force (RAPF) launched an investigation into the death of Anguilla resident Kenny Mitchell, 27, on April 13.

The medical examiner ruled Mitchel's causes of death to be prone restraint, a technique that reduces a person's ability to breathe, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso. Hapgood was arrested and charged with manslaughter. He is expected to return to the island for court proceedings on Aug. 22.

A police spokesman reportedly told the Associated Press this week that Hapgood’s two daughters were in the room when Mitchell was killed.

Hapgood was charged with manslaughter and released on a $74,000 bond, which reportedly sparked anger with local residents who are now demanding that he return to the Caribbean to face justice.

No motive has been released, police said, though reports state that Mitchell pulled a knife and allegedly tried to rob Hapgood, prompting him to fight back in self-defense.

The Royal Anguilla Police Force said members of its department were called to the West End of Anguilla shortly after 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, for "an incident that resulted in the death of a resident of Anguilla."

Mitchell was reportedly a maintenance worker at a hotel in the West End of Anguilla where Hapgood and his family were staying.

Police said that Hapgood was arrested on Tuesday, April 16 and appeared before the magistrate court the following day, where bail was initially declined. Hapgood was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison until Monday, April 22.

A representative from UBS told Page Six “we are aware of the recent events in Anguilla and are following the situation closely. As you will appreciate, it would not be appropriate for us to provide any comment in relation to an active criminal proceeding.”

The news caused uproar and vitriol on the RAPF Facebook page, prompting this post:

“The Royal Anguilla Police Force acknowledges the fact that people want information in respect of the recent arrest and charging of a US tourist, however, like all investigation, these are not conducted on social media. These matters are now before the court and are sub judicial. 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.”

RAPF Police Commissioner said that “the RAPF has executed their function and likewise both courts adjudicated over the matter. 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.”

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