The trial of Henry Dinkins, on trial for the 2020 kidnapping and murder of 10 year old Breasia Terrell, is in its 12th day. Dinkins and his family maintain that he is innocent. Dinkins asked for a bench trial, which means the judge makes all the decisions as compared to a jury trial, in which the jurors make the decisions.
Branden Stepanski, a criminalist with the Iowa DCI lab, was the first to take the stand.
He told prosecutor Kelly Cunningham, “bleach is capable of breaking down. It’s also soluble in water.” He said he analyzed the clothing, a white plastic bottle and pieces of a white plastic bottle found at the scene. Under cross examination from Joel Waters, Dinkins’ attorney, Stepanski said “I was unable to come to a conclusion consistent with bleach.”
Next, the state called Michael Schmit to the stand. He is a criminalist with the Iowa DCI lab. He told the court, “DNA is the building block of life.” He was assigned to build a DNA profile of a bone found at the scene where Breasia’s remains were found. He was able to build a profile from a cutting of the left femur bone.
He also examined clothing found at the scene, he told the court. “These articles of clothing, I was screening for sperm or seminal fluid.” He said he found no seminal fluid or sperm on the clothing. He told Cunningham he did not find Breasia’s DNA on any of the clothing.
The state will continue to call witnesses Monday.
This is a breaking story and Local 4 will have updates as they become available.