A jury on Tuesday found a man guilty of nearly strangling a 12-year-old girl as she walked to her Fort Worth school bus stop.
Terry King II was convicted of assault causing serious bodily injury to a child and attempted aggravated kidnapping.
King attacked Dorika Uwimana on April 19, 2018, at Calmont Avenue and Laredo Drive in the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood of west Fort Worth. Dorika was beaten so badly she had to have a heart transplant.
The punishment phase of the trial in state District Judge Mollee Westfall’s 371st District Court began Tuesday afternoon and included testimony from a police officer describing the facial injuries that a woman with whom King was involved in a domestic relationship suffered when he assaulted her.
Later, a witness told of his experience with a man punching him as he sat in a vehicle. A detective testified the assault suspect was King. The assault was motivated by King’s anger that flared from a driving error.
A prosecutor also told jurors of King’s criminal history of bank larceny, vehicle burglary and prostitution.
King, 37, could face a sentence of up to life in prison. The punishment phase will resume on Wednesday.
Multiple cameras showed King walking in and out of businesses in the Las Vegas Trail area near where Dorika was attacked, a Fort Worth detective testified Monday, according to Star-Telegram media partner WFAA.
Dorika’s father, Twizere Buhinja, is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He and his family lived in a refugee camp in Uganda for 16 years before they came to Fort Worth about three years ago.
In a previous interview, Buhinja said his daughter will need medication for the rest of her life. Doctors told him that the man who nearly strangled his daughter cut the flow of oxygen to her vital organs long enough to damage her heart, requiring her to have a transplant.