A Connecticut man accused of killing a hotel resort worker in Anguilla earlier this year appeared with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and state and local leaders in a Monday news conference to proclaim his innocence and plea for a fair trial when he returns to the Carribean island.
Dozens of supporters held signs in support of Scott Hapgood in front of Darien Town Hall, weeks before he is scheduled to return to the British territory for a court hearing. He faces a manslaughter charge in the death of 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel.
"This nightmare is my new reality," Hapgood told crowd members, who mostly applauded and wished him and his family well, according to Patch.
Hapgood, a UBS banker, claims he was vacationing with his family when Mitchel showed up at his hotel room on April 13 unannounced claiming he needed to fix a sink before turning violent. Relatives said Hapgood was stabbed several times and sustained bruises on his arms and chest. They said Mitchel was alive the last time Hapgood saw him.
Hapgood, 44, said he was defending his two daughters who were with him in the room and that he would do it again. A family spokesman has claimed Mitchel demanded money during the attack.
“As a parent of five children myself, I know, we all know, that Scott did what any parent would do … protect his children from a highly intoxicated and crazed man,” Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said during the rally outside the town hall, the Stamford Advocate reported.
Mitchel's initial autopsy showed he was beaten and choked to death. A revised autopsy report said concluded a lethal amount of cocaine in his system killed him, not Hapgood's actions.
“Acute cocaine toxicity could have been a potentially independent cause of death in the known circumstances,” Dr. Stephen King said in the document dated Sept. 3.
"The hard science will show what really happened," Hapgood said.
Hapgood was arrested days after the attack and later released on bail. He is set to return on Nov. 11 for a court hearing. He's received death threats since the attack and many residents on the island were outraged when he was released from police custody.
“We know that the threat was sufficient to have triggered what the police refer to as an Osman warning, which is an obligation under the UK law to provide disclosure and information that there is an existing threat to life,” Hapgood's international lawyer Juliya Arbisman said.
Blumenthal stressed that the United Kingdom and Anguillan officials need to guarantee Hapgood's safety once he returns to the island.
"This is every American's worst nightmare, attacked and then being subjected to criminal proceedings in a foreign country," Blumenthal said. "We want fair and transparent proceedings."
Blumenthal said he's spoken with White House officials about the case. President Trump said he would "be looking into" the case during a "Fox & Friends" interview earlier this month after Hapgood's wife, Kallie, urged him to intervene.
Shortly after the segment, he tweeted "Something looks and sounds very wrong."
Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.