Maximum sentence sought for six of nine defendants in Bakari Henderson murder trial

Maximum sentence sought for six of nine defendants in Bakari Henderson murder trial

The prosecutor leading the trial into the killing of Bakari Henderson, the 22-year-old American who was on a working holiday at the Greek island of Zakynthos when he was beaten to death in the summer of 2017, is seeking the maximum sentence for six of the nine defendants.

Addressing the court in the western port city of Patra where the trial started in September, Panagiotis Meidanis said that the prosecution is seeking a maximum sentence for murder with intent and collusion to commit murder for six of the nine suspects, as well as lesser sentences for complicity to commit murder and grievous bodily harm for the other three.

Meidanis also asked for charges be brought against the owner of the bar in the resort town of Laganas where Henderson became involved in an argument with a group of patrons who chased him out into the street and attacked him viciously a few meters down the road, in an incident that has been caught on security cameras.

The businessman should face charges of aiding and abetting that act of murder, perjury and illegal weapons possession, the prosecutor said.

Henderson's parents, Jill and Phil, have traveled to Greece for the trial from the Unites States.

In an interview with USA Today in July, Jill Henderson expressed concern that the attack against her son may have been racially motivated.

“I hate to assume, but it felt like it started as anti-American and then escalated into a hate crime because he was African-American,” she said.

According to the indictment, the argument started when a patron approached a waitress after she had taken a selfie with Henderson at the bar, saying: “There are so many Serbs in this bar. Why are you talking to a black guy?” 

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