Scott Hapgood, the UBS employee accused of manslaughter in the killing of a hotel employee in Anguilla, has been declared a fugitive by officials of the British Caribbean territory after he failed to show up for a scheduled court hearing Monday, according to news reports.
Anguilla authorities charged Hapgood in April in the killing of 27-year-old Kenneth Mitchel and released him on bail to return home to Connecticut. Hapgood, who’s on leave from UBS, attended a scheduled hearing on the island on Aug. 22 but skipped the hearing scheduled for Monday.
A spokesperson for Hapgood and one of his lawyers told journalists that Hapgood would not show up for the hearing because local authorities declined to guarantee his protection and ability to return to the U.S. on bail. But an Anguilla magistrate says those concerns are “totally groundless,” calling Hapgood’s decision to skip the hearing “willful defiance,” according to CBS News.
Hapgood’s team tell the TV news channel that they’re aware of the reports of the arrest warrant but declined further comment.
If the administration of Donald Trump cooperates with Anguilla authorities, Hapgood’s classification as a fugitive would lead to his extradition, CBS News writes. However, after a segment on Hapgood’s case on the Fox News show “Fox and Friends,” Trump tweeted on Oct. 14 that he’s looking “into the Scott Hapgood case, and the Island of Anguilla. Something looks and sounds very wrong. I know Anguilla will want to see this case be properly and justly resolved.”
Hapgood and his family claim he acted in self-defense after Mitchel attacked him first. Another hotel employee who entered the room says Hapgood had Mitchel pinned to the ground. A coroner first ruled that Mitchel’s death was caused by asphyxiation but following a toxicology report the same coroner said high levels of cocaine in Mitchel’s bloodstream meant he would have died either way, the New York Times reported in October.