Defense causes two delays this week in trial for men accused of killing Bakari Henderson

In 2018, the trial for the nine men accused was held in Greece and all were found not guilty of murder

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The retrial of a group of men who viciously attacked and killed Black American tourist Bakari Henderson while he was visiting Greece in 2017 was delayed twice this week. 

In 2018, the trial for the nine men accused of beating Henderson was held in Greece and six were found guilty of deadly assault — all were found not guilty of murder, theGrio previously reported.

Bakari Henderson thegrio.con
Bakari Henderson (Credit: The Bakari Foundation)

The prosecutor ordered a retrial on the same charges that were scheduled to begin on Feb. 21, but the judge granted a continuance at the request of the defense team because no witnesses were able to attend the proceedings, CBS News reports. 

The delay was the second this week as the defense was granted a continuance Monday when a lawyer was unable to attend the hearing, according to the report. 

Henderson, 22, was reportedly beaten to death on the Greek island of Zakynthos in 2017, due to an argument over a selfie, according to witnesses, CBS reported.

Henderson was at a bar on the island and wanted to take a selfie with one of the waitresses, which reportedly angered the bouncer, theGrio previously reported. The woman told investigators that when she posed with the young entrepreneur, a man nearby said, “There are a lot of Serbs in the bar. Why are you talking to a Black guy?”

The man then reportedly assaulted Henderson before Henderson defended himself by striking the man back. The brawl moved outside, where a mob of men chased Henderson down the street and beat him to death.

Bakari Henderson suspects
Greek police officers escort two of the seven suspects, center, allegedly involved in the fatal beating of Texan tourist Bakari Henderson as they disembark a police bus at a courthouse in Patras city, western Greece, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Giannis Androutsopoulos)

Henderson was left unconscious in the street. He died from severe head injuries. The entire incident was caught on surveillance video.

Nine people were arrested following the attack: one Greek citizen, seven Serbians, and a British man of Serbian origin, as reported by Yahoo. Three of the men were released by Greek police days after the deadly beating. 

Six of the nine were originally facing a life sentence in prison after being charged with intentional homicide, but they were convicted of the lesser charge of assault. According to reports, the British citizen was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison “for causing grievous bodily harm.”

One of the Serbs received a ten-year sentence, three others were sentenced to seven years and the remaining reportedly received five years.

Per CBS, “The other three men were acquitted. At least four of the men have already been released.”

The Henderson family traveled from the U.S. to Greece this week for the retrial and said they would return next month after the hearing was rescheduled for March 11. 

“It’s been a lot of highs, but mostly lows, trying to process the grief,” Bakari’s mother, Jill Henderson, told Gayle King in an interview for CBS Mornings. “I would say the hardest thing has been feeling like I’m not always doing the best that I can by my other two children … because I spend so much time focused on Bakari, and the retrial, and just trying to keep his legacy alive because I miss him so much.”

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