On Friday, a Greek court rejected an appeal to toughen the sentences originally imposed on six people charged with the killing of Bakari Henderson, a college graduate from Texas, in Zakynthos in July 2017.
The court upheld the original convictions, according to which five defendants were convicted of intended fatal bodily harm while one was convicted of fatal bodily harm, on Friday. In terms of sentencing, one received a ten-year sentence, four received eight years each, and the sixth one received a five-year sentence.
The retrial at the second level occurred after an appeals court prosecutor appealed against the first verdict issued by a Patras court in 2018 arguing that the sentences were too lenient.
Lawyer Christos Kaklamanis, who represented Bakari’s family, said his family “will request when that becomes feasible, that the Supreme Court [revoke] the decision,” he said of Greece’s highest court.
The defendants’ lawyers—Alexis Kougias, Agamemnon Tatsis, and Athanassios Tartis—said they were satisfied with the verdict.
Henderson was killed following an argument in a bar
Henderson, a student from Austin, Texas, was on a trip to Zakynthos to shoot photographs for his new clothing line, which was just about to be revealed.
A group of people assaulted the 22-year-old on the street in the Laganas area following an argument in a bar.
Video footage from a security camera that aired on Greek television shows Henderson running down the sidewalk and being pursued. One man tackled him, throwing him onto a parked car before others joined in the beating.
His parents, Jill and Phil Henderson have campaigned for a just sentence against the defendants.
His parents describe the ambitious young man as having “a singular focus: to build a business empire and demonstrate what it means to live fully and fearlessly.”
His motto for life was “Plan B is for those who are not confident in their Plan A.” They add that “He was confident about his plan in life, inquisitive about all things financial and global and relentless in achieving his goals as an entrepreneur.”
“Bakari was a quiet storm,” they said, “who shared his love and compassion with family and friends, by sharing thoughtful sentiments and encouraging words.”