A judge ruled on Friday that an Iowa man was guilty of ki*lling a 10-year-old girl, whose remains were discovered in a pond after she went missing for eight months.
Breasia Terrell, whose disappearance on July 10, 2020, prompted extensive searches by dozens of volunteers and numerous law enforcement agencies, was ki*lled by Henry Earl Dinkins, 51, who was also found guilty of kidnapping and first-degree murder. In a remote area north of Davenport in March 2021, fishermen discovered her body.
He will be sentenced on October 11 and will be given a mandatory life sentence.
In May 2021, prosecutors accused Dinkins of kidnapping Breasia and ki*lling her with a gun. She had spent the night with Dinkins, her half-brother, and his father.
Dinkins, a recognized sexual offender, was 17 years old when he was found guilty in 1990 of third-degree sexual abuse.
After reading a lengthy account of the evidence, Judge Henry Latham made his ruling. The judge struggled to keep his cool at times and paused.
“The court finds that the defendant was the last person seen with Breasia beyond a reasonable doubt. He had taken custody of her without being authorized to do so and removed her from the apartment where he was authorized to care for her with the express purpose of causing serious harm to her, according to Latham. “Breasia perished as a result of that removal.”
Following the verdict, the audience cheered as deputies led Dinkins out of the courtroom.
The absence of physical evidence, such as blood or semen connecting Breasia and Dinkins in the locations where prosecutors claimed they were prior to her death, was brought up by defense attorneys during the two-week trial.
The prosecution cited testimony indicating that Breasia and Dinkins were not in the apartment when Dinkins’ roommate woke up at 3 a.m. on July 10th. Dinkins allegedly took Breasia to a location where he sexually assaulted her before k*illing the child, according to the prosecution.
Later, Dinkins’ son provided details to detectives about going with his dad to a Walmart to buy bleach and visiting a location that matched the description of the location where Breasia’s body was discovered months later.
When the Iowa Supreme Court approved a change of venue, the trial was moved to Cedar Rapids; however, Dinkins decided to have the case heard in front of a judge just before the trial started. The trial was subsequently moved back to the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport as a result.