Judge finds Henry Dinkins guilty of kidnapping, murdering Breasia Terrell

After the judge said Dinkins was guilty of murder and kidnapping, Aisha Lankford was overcome with tears of joy as she hugged her loved ones.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:12 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KCRG) - A Scott County judge has found Henry Dinkins guilty of kidnapping and murdering 10-year-old Breasia Terrell in Davenport.

The verdict was read during a hearing on Friday morning.


Dinkins, 51, waived his right to a jury trial, opting instead for a bench trial, which took place over a couple of weeks.

Breasia Terrell disappeared in Davenport in 2020. Fishermen found her body months later in Clinton County.

During closing arguments, prosecutors pointed to the chain of events before Breasia disappeared.

They said Dinkins, a registered sex offender, sexually assaulted Breasia, then shot her because he thought she would tell someone.

Prosecutors highlighted video evidence of Dinkins buying bleach at Walmart, and bullets found with the remains.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation performed analysis of Breasia’s clothing, along with white plastic bottles found at the scene. The items were found to have trace elements of chlorine, which can be found in bleach.

Breasia’s brother, who was simply referred to as D.L. during the trial, testified that Breasia was already gone by the time he woke up in Dinkins’ apartment on July 10, 2020. He also told the defense several new pieces of information, including claims of his father pouring bleach into bushes, cleaning a bloodied knife with bleach, and even that he saw him shoot Breasia.

Breasia’s mother, Aishia Lankford, testified during the trial, claiming her son had never revealed any of that information to her previously. The defense questioned D.L.’s likelihood to exaggerate, to which she explained that he might occasionally, but never about his sister.

The defense argued there is a lack of physical evidence tying Dinkins to the crimes.

They said police focused on Dinkins too heavily, and didn’t investigate other possibilities.

The judge denied a motion from the defense to acquit Dinkins on all charges.

Breasia’s family was in the courtroom as it all played out.

“It’s like somebody done ripped the bandage off the little part that was healed because this is something that we can never heal completely over,” Shay Moore, Breasia Terrell’s cousin, said. “This is something I never wish on anybody else.”

Breasia’s family said they were hoping for a guilty verdict.

Dinkins faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 11.