US citizen charged with manslaughter bailed and allowed to leave Anguilla

Anguilla police say Gavin Hapgood, a US citizen, who was arrested and charged with the manslaughter of Kenny Michel, was denied bail by the Magistrate court on Wednesday, morning April 17.

The Police further reported that the accused was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison to return to court on Thursday, August 22.

However, The Anguillian was informed by a credible source that on the same day, Wednesday afternoon, the accused, representative by his Legal Counsel, filed an application for bail for a cash bond in the High Court. The Judge granted him bail in the sum of EC$200,000.

The Death Certificate of K. Mitchel, age 27, stated cause of death was due to prone restraint, positional asphyxia and blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso.

Hapgood was on vacation with his family in Anguilla staying at a hotel in the West End of the island and Mitchel was an employee of the same hotel.

Legal representative Thomas Astaphan, QC, assured the court that Hapgood who is a financial advisor in New York, “has every intention to return to Anguilla to clear his name.”

The Police Inspector told the court the prosecution had no objection to bail.

After 25 minutes of adjournment the Magistrate Keithley Benjamin, stated “the charge of manslaughter is a serious offence.”

He noted that “the court has a discretion on the matter and while there may be good reason for bail to be granted, the court has to balance the interest of the person charged, the public interest and the interest of justice.” (The Anguillian and Radio Anguilla)