‘Entitled to a voice.” Attorney for slain Anguilla worker speaks with News 12Posted: Updated:
An attorney for the family of Kenny Mitchel, the Anguillan resort worker who died during a struggle with a Darien man, says his client is "entitled to a voice."
The family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Scott Hapgood, who faces a manslaughter charge in the Caribbean country.
Hapgood has stated that Mitchel came to his room and robbed him at knifepoint. However, a struggle ensued that left Mitchel dead. The estate of Kenny Mitchel claims Hapgood caused his death by unnecessarily pinning him to the floor and pushing down against his neck.
An autopsy showed Mitchel had lethal doses of cocaine in his system at the time. Steven Seligman, who represents Mitchel's family in Anguilla, is not convinced by those results.
"I certainly want to talk to Scott Hapgood,” says Seligman. “I certainly want to talk to the people who were present in the room for the over half-hour that Mr. Hapgood went from, by his claim, playing defense.”
Last month, Hapgood skipped a hearing in Anguilla. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has also expressed concerns about Hapgood returning to the country.
"There were certainly threats to the safety and security of Scott Hapgood, and there were justified fears about the fairness of the legal proceeding," says the senator.
Angullian authorities have since issued an international arrest warrant for Hapgood. The Darien community has rallied behind its neighbor, but Seligman says Mitchel deserves a voice, too.
"It's very important to me, and very personal," says Seligman.
The Hapgood family had no comment for this story.
Next month, a judge in Anguilla is expected to decide whether there's enough evidence to move forward with his manslaughter case.
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