Tourist's attorney questions why case against him continues after autopsy suggests cocaine played role in resort worker's death

CNN 1 month ago

A revised autopsy report done of Kenny Mitchel, the maintenance worker on the island of Anguilla who was allegedly killed by American tourist Gavin Scott Hapgood, says he had a lethal amount of cocaine in his system at the time of his death.

Obtained by The New York Times, the revised autopsy report, which includes toxicology and is dated September 3 reads, "Acute cocaine toxicity could have been a potentially independent cause of death in the known circumstances," quoting Dr. Stephen King, who oversaw the autopsy.

The original autopsy released in April and obtained by CNN revealed the cause of Mitchel's death was "prone restraint and positional asphyxia," Anguilla police spokesman Randy Dick said in a statement. There were also signs of blunt force trauma to the head, torso and abdomen, the report said.

    CNN continues to press Caribbean authorities for a copy of the revised report.

    Hapgood's defense team asked for a separate analysis of the new autopsy by Maryland Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. David R. Fowler, who came up with a similar finding, "the level of cocaine present in Mr. Mitchell (sic) at the time of analysis is twice that commonly accepted to have a fatal outcome." Fowler goes on to say, "Mr. Mitchel has an exceptionally high cocaine level well into the accepted fatal range."

    "There are some serious questions why this prosecution against Scott Hapgood is continuing in the light of this conclusive evidence," Juliya Arbisman, Hapgood's attorney, told CNN.

      Hapgood and his family had been vacationing in Anguilla when he says Mitchel came to their room uninvited and a fight ensued. The specific circumstances surrounding Mitchel's death are unclear.

      The Royal Anguilla Police Force says Hapgood, 44, faces a charge of manslaughter in connection to the death of 27-year-old Mitchel, a Dominican national.


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