Newly released records show Henry Dinkins was granted parole a few months before he kidnapped and killed 10-year-old Breasia Terrell in Iowa last year.
Dinkins was released from a minimum-security prison in Davenport in March 2020 after The Iowa Board of Parole determined he was “able and willing to fulfill the obligations of a law-abiding citizen,” reported The Associated Press.
“There is a reasonable probability that you can be released without detriment to the community or yourself,” board chair Helen Miller wrote in Dinkins’ parole order.
About four months later, Terrell went missing while staying at Dinkins’ apartment to play with his son, who is her half-brother. She was last seen alive on July 10, 2020. Her disappearance sparked a massive search that ended 9 months later when two fishermen found Terrell’s remains in a pond on March 22.
Dinkins was charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, The Des Moines Register reported. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Dinkins’ long rap sheet dates to 1990, when he was convicted of third-degree sexual assault after he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl when he was 17. He was required to register as a sex offender and has gotten in trouble for failing to update his registration.
He ended up in prison again in March 2019 after he crashed his car into a yard while high on crack. It was his fifth arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated since 2007. He was sentenced to five years in prison and banned from driving for six years.
After Dinkins went to rehab and got a full-time job, a probation officer recommended he be released in April 2020 before the date was moved up to March 19. If he hadn’t been paroled, Dinkins would have been in prison until January 2022.
A few days after the OWI arrest, Dinkins was caught with 900 grams of meth and 200 grams of amphetamine in Bureau County, Illinois. Two days after he appeared in court for the drug charges, Terrell disappeared. The Illinois case is still pending and won’t be settled until the murder case is resolved.