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Henry Dinkins sentenced to two consecutive life sentences

Tom Loewy

On Wednesday, a Scott County judge sentenced Henry Dinkins to two consecutive life sentences for the 2020 kidnapping and murder of 10-year old Breasia Terrell.

Breasia was reported missing after a sleepover at Dinkins’ girlfriend’s apartment with her younger brother, Dinkins' son, "DL." Her body was found eight months later near DeWitt.

Last month, Judge Henry Latham found 51-year old Dinkins guilty of first degree murder and kidnapping. Both felonies have mandatory life sentences, without parole.

The defense recommended the sentences be served concurrently, saying the Davenport man has "one life to give." The judge went with the state's recommended sentence of consecutive life sentences.

"The defendant has an adult criminal record dating back to 1989," Latham said. "His history coupled with the horrific nature of these offenses against his own child's sister requires that this defendant be removed from society for the protection of society."

10-year old Breasia Terrell.

Breasia's mother, Aishia Lankford spoke at the sentencing, addressing Dinkins directly.

"Did she want me? Was she scared? Did she see those gunshots coming?"

"Did you stay and watch my baby die? How long did she suffer? Did you watch the life leave from her beautiful hazel eyes?"

"Henry Dinkins, closure doesn't exist here in this case," she said. "Justice doesn't exist here in this case."

She said the trauma has affected her whole family. Her older son "lost his childhood," and her younger son, DL, is struggling with the loss of his sister.

Dinkins accused the court of racial profiling, the witnesses of lying, and said he was "railroaded."

"Through these series of events, I know I've been railroaded, so either way, the state had the odds in their favor."

"The state produced 900 exhibits offered into evidence," he said. "I never had the opportunity to look over 90% of any of this for preparation for trial."

Prosecutor Kelly Cunningham said Dinkins was given all the exhibits. Judge Latham said the trial was fair.

The court also found Dinkins to be unable to pay the $150,000 restitution to Lankford.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.

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