FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – She was choked and beaten so viciously that a then 12-year-old Fort Worth girl was hospitalized for months and had to have a heart transplant. Monday the trial began for the man accused of assaulting her.
Terry Wayne King II is charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. Prosecutors say the then 36-year-old man attacked Dorika Uwimana as she walked to her school bus stop.
It’s still not clear, from opening statements or testimony what prosecutor’s believe King’s motive was. But Dorika, whose family came to North Texas as refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, took the stand and told jurors about how the man, who at first asked for help, hit her in the face and grabbed her by the neck.
The little girl bravely spoke in Swahili and with the help of a translator the court heard her describe what happened on that morning last year.
“The first time he grabbed me he hit me on the floor. I lost my conscience. After that I did not know where he go,” Dorika described from the stand. Dorika’s attacker was scared away by her approaching school bus.
The driver, Teresa Dover, also took the stand Monday. She described what she saw as the little girl fought to make her way to the bus. “Her face was bloody. Her hair was bloody. She had grass all over… all over her body.”
Paramedic Lori Clausen told the court that as Uwimana was rushed to the hospital she began struggling to breathe, because of fluid on her lungs.
Investigators testified that they obtained nearly a dozen different security videos from the area and those images led them to King. They say when questioned he admitted to being on some of the videos, but denied others.
Regardless if King admits to the attack or not, prosecutors say it’s Dorika who ultimately connects him to the case. The little girl scratched her attacker as he choked her and prosecutors said they found King’s DNA under her fingernails.
King, a truck driver, lived in Fort Worth for more than four years and moved right after the girl was assaulted. Three months after the attack he was located and arrested by U.S. Marshals in Oklahoma City.
Dorika was beaten and strangled for so long that her heart was damaged from lack of oxygen. She was attacked in April of 2018 and by July had already undergone three surgeries. She celebrated her 13th birthday at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas after one of those operations.
King has denied being part of the April 2018 attack. Evidence presented Tuesday however showed there was only a one in 329-trillion chance that DNA found on the victim belonged to someone else.