Sleepover Kidnapping Murder Trial: Henry Dinkins sentenced

Posted at 6:15 PM, October 11, 2023

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man was sentenced Wednesday to two life terms for killing a 10-year-old girl who was missing for eight months before her remains were found in a pond.

Henry Earl Dinkins also will have to pay $150,000 in restitution to the mother of Breasia Terrell, The Quad City Times reports. The girl’s July 2020 disappearance led to huge searches by dozens of volunteers and numerous law enforcement agencies before fishermen found her body in March 2021 in a rural area north of Davenport.

Henry Dinkins' defense attorney delivers his closing argument.

Henry Dinkins sits in court as his attorney delivers closing arguments. (Court TV)

Last month Judge Henry Latham found Dinkins, 51, guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping. The life sentences he imposed are without parole.

Prosecutors charged Dinkins with Terrell’s death in May 2021, alleging he kidnapped and then shot her to death. She had been staying the night with her half-brother and his father, Dinkins.

MORE: IA v. Henry Dinkins: Sleepover Kidnapping Murder Trial

Dinkins is a registered sex offender who was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in 1990, when he was 17.

Latham said the brother, who was just 8 when Terrell disappeared, played a crucial role in solving the case. Dinkins’ son later gave investigators details about accompanying his father to a Walmart to buy bleach and traveling to a site that matched the description of where Terrell’s body was found months later.

The trial had been moved to Cedar Rapids when the Iowa Supreme Court granted a change of venue, but just before it began, Dinkins decided to have the case heard in front of a judge. Because of that, the trial was moved back to the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport.