The trial for a 49-year-old suspect in the slaying of a 10-year-old Davenport girl is set to begin a week later because of a scheduling conflict.

Henry Dinkins, of Davenport, is accused in the slaying of 10-year-old Breasia Terrell on or about July 10, 2020.

Breasia was last seen July 10, 2020, after she stayed overnight with her brother and Dinkins, who is the boy’s father.  

After Breasia’s body was found March 22, 2021, near DeWitt, authorities confirmed her identity on March 31, 2021.

Dinkins, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping, remains in custody. His family maintains his innocence.

Now the trial is set to begin Oct. 25 instead of Oct. 17, court documents say. The court will consider all pretrial motions the morning of Oct. 24.

The trial will be held in Linn County, where Cedar Rapids is the county seat, because so many people in Scott County know about the case, and many have formed an opinion about it.

Change of venue

In March, a motion for a change of venue was granted in Scott County Court.

Court documents refer to a report created by Personal Marketing Research for the State Public Defender’s Office about a change of venue study in the case.

The questionnaire was drafted to determine estimates of the awareness level in Scott County regarding the case.

A sample size of 408 persons who comprised a “stratified random sample” of potential Scott County jurors was used. Results indicate 38% of Scott County respondents interviewed said they had  heard of Dinkins, while 68% of respondents interviewed said they have heard of Breasia Terrell.

“Significantly, 85% of the pool interviewed were aware of the case,” the motion document says.

Half of the respondents who reported awareness mentioned the internet as their source of awareness and of those who listed the internet as their main source, 70% specifically reported Facebook as their source. Also, 47% of the Scott County residents who were aware of any portion of the case or either name reported that they had formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of Dinkins.

“Of those persons, 77% stated that they would find the defendant guilty,” the document says.

“The data obtained from the Change of Venue Study shows that in no uncertain terms a significant degree of prejudice exists in Scott County such that there is a substantial likelihood a fair and impartial trial cannot be preserved with jury selection from Scott County.”

“As such, a change of venue is appropriate and necessary to safeguard the constitutional rights of the Defendant, under both the Iowa and United States Constitutions,” the motion says.