Former MSU student sentenced to death

STARKVILLE — A former Mississippi State University student has been sentenced to death for killing his roommate last year.

Bobby Batiste was convicted of capital murder in the death of 28-year-old Andreas Galanis and sentenced to death on Saturday.

Batiste is accused of killing Galanis by blunt-force trauma to the head after they got into a fight March 7, 2008, in their off-campus apartment when Galanis discovered money missing from his checking account. He suspected Batiste, now 29, had used his debit card without his permission.

Batiste told police Galanis attacked him first, but evidence at trial refuted that, according to the Commercial Dispatch newspaper.

The Oktibbeha County jury of eight men and four women deliberated for three hours before returning its decision. Family members of victim Andreas Galanis were in tears after Circuit Court Clerk Angie McGinniss announced Batiste’s sentence.

Katerina Galanis, the victim’s mother, declined to comment after the hearing, but she spoke earlier in the day on the witness stand of the tremendous loss she has faced.

“My life is, somehow, it’s half gone,” she said. “Andreas was our protector. He was the man of the house. He was the one who was always giving us advice, and he took it upon himself to do things in our house and protect our house.”

Katerina Galanis later went on to say how even her personality has changed since the death of her son.

“I’m a cold-blooded person,” she said. “I cannot say I love anybody anymore.”

Batiste’s mother, Annie, took the stand and called Bobby Batiste a “sweet, kind-hearted person.”

Batiste had to wipe tears from his eyes while his mother was on the witness stand.

Batiste pleaded guilty in 2004 to credit-card fraud in Kemper County and was accused in his trial this week of spending more than $4,500 of Galanis’ money on a debit card without Galanis’ knowledge prior to killing him.

The Associated Press