AUSTIN (KXAN) — Jill Henderson knows tragedy. Her son, Bakari, was beaten to death by a group of men on the Greek island of Zakynthos in July 2017 after he allegedly took a picture with a white woman at a cafe.
Nine men were charged and only 6 were convicted. The men were convicted of assault charges instead of murder charges and one was sentenced to 15 years in prison while others got as little as five years.
“By reducing the sentences for those other defendants, it’s causing us more pain,” said Jill Henderson who was in the courtroom when the verdict came in Fall of 2018. Now, she is back home in Austin waiting for a retrial and “wondering if we really will get justice this time.”
But while she waits for justice, she is busy at work trying to make a difference for other families affected by murder.
Henderson has started the Bakari Henderson Foundation to raise money to send a grieving family on a trip.
“(Bakari) loved people and he loved travel,” she says of her son who was in Greece when he died on work trip to shoot photos for a clothing line he was launching. “It won’t heal them but we just hope it will give them that spark to help them,” she says.
The foundation is accepting applications to be the recipient of the money for a trip on their website. Then, on April 13, which would have been Bakari’s twenty-fourth birthday, they will pick an applicant.