A group of white men walked out of court high-fiving each other after a Greek court convicted them of various assault charges in the fatal beating of an Austin man last year.
Bakari Henderson, 22, of Texas died after being beaten to death by a mob of men in 2017 following a bar argument. One British citizen of Serbian origin, seven Serbs and one Greek man were allegedly involved in the brawl and were given sentences ranging from five to 15 years in prison on reduced charges of deliberate bodily harm instead of deliberate homicide by the court on Thursday, CBS News reported.
Henderson, a business graduate from the University of Arizona traveled to Patras, Greece, for a promotional video shoot for his own apparel line. However, in June 2017 the 22-year-old got into a bar argument with the defendants at a bar in the Laganas resort area of Zakynthos island. A Serbian woman told investigators she’d taken a selfie with the victim when a man said, “There are a lot of Serbs in the bar. Why are you talking to a Black guy?”
The man then mushed Henderson, who was in the bar with friends of his own, in the head and the victim hit back. The fight moved outside and a mob of men chased the victim down the street, beating him to death. He was dead only seconds later.
Henderson’s parents believe race played a major part in their son’s death. Jill Henderson said her son was injured so severely that she and her husband “put sunglasses on him” when they buried him.
“You should not be able to chase a man down and beat him to death and not go to jail,” Jill told then news source before breaking down into tears.
The victim’s family and the prosecution were pushing for murder convictions of the defendants, but the rulings were appealed by a Greek prosecutor. Three of the nine defendants who claimed they did not intend to murder Henderson were exonerated. The British citizen of Serbian origin was sentenced to 15 years in prison for grievous bodily harm. One of the Serb suspects was sentenced to 10 years, three received seven-year sentences and one other a five-year sentence, all on lesser charges.
After the sentencing, Phil Henderson, the father of the victim, told the news source that he couldn’t “understand, a man’s life here in Greece doesn’t mean anything.”