A change of venue has been granted in the murder trial of Henry Earl Dinkins, the man charged with the July 2020 kidnapping and shooting death of 10-year-old Breasia Terrell.
Scott County District Attorney Michael Walton said District Judge Henry Latham issued the decision Wednesday after a hearing in district court.
“We couldn’t even resist it,” Walton said. “We conceded it. It was pretty clear that it was going to be needed and we didn’t want to start here and then find out that we can’t have it here and then have it moved.
The location of the trial was not determined Wednesday, Walton said.
“He is being sued for a pretrial on April 8,” he said. “I guess we’ll find out by then, maybe sooner.”
Dinkins, 49, will also be assigned a new lawyer, despite a previous refusal, after his court-appointed lawyers asked to be removed from the case.
Dinkins requested a new lawyer in letters to Latham, stating that communication with his public defender named Miguel Puentes had been cut off.
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Latham had recently denied Dinkins’ request for a new attorney, instead ordering Dinkins to have better access to Puentes by phone and for Puentes to meet with Dinkins in person “at least once a week.”
In addition to denying Dinkins’ request for a new attorney, Latham also denied Dinkins’ request to represent himself because the request was not properly made in court.
On Tuesday, Puentes and assistant public defender Kyle Workby filed a motion in district court to opt out of Dinkins’ defense.
In the motion, Workby said calls were made to Dinkins at the Clinton County Jail on February 18, February 25 and March 4. Each time, Dinkins refused to accept calls.
On March 25, the attorneys emailed prison staff asking if Dinkins wanted to speak with them. Prison staff responded by stating that Dinkins had refused to speak to them.
Latham allowed Puentes and Workby to opt out of the deal.
Dinkins is accused of kidnapping Breasia on the morning of July 10, 2020. He allegedly shot her.
Her remains were found on March 22, 2021 by two fishermen in a Clinton County pond.
Davenport Police confirmed the remains were those of Breasia at a press conference on March 31, 2021.
On May 5, Dinkins was charged with first degree murder and first degree kidnapping.
Each charge is a Class A felony under Iowa law that automatically carries a life sentence.
Dinkins pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Dinkins, a registered sex offender, is also charged with three counts of violation of Scott County sex offender registration. Each charge is a Class D felony under Iowa law punishable by up to five years in prison. A pre-trial conference is scheduled in that case for May 13 in the district court.
Dinkins is being held without bond at the Clinton County Jail.