A white truck driver was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after he was convicted in Texas of beating a 12-year-old Black girl so badly she needed a heart transplant after the attack.
Terry Wayne King II was found guilty of assault causing bodily injury to a child and attempted aggravated kidnapping Tuesday, according to NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
Dorika Uwimana, now 14, was walking to her school bus stop April 19, 2018, when King approached her near Calmont Avenue and Laredo Drive in West Fort Worth, the child’s father, Twizere Buhinga, said.
“He told my daughter, ‘I need help.’ My daughter said, ‘Right now, I go to school but I can give you help. Which help you need?’” Buhinga said of his daughter’s words.
King choked the girl, a student at International Newcomer Academy, forced her to the ground and beat her, but she was able to escape to the nearest school bus for help, Fort Worth Police Detective Pat Hinz told CBS affiliate KTVT. The bus driver called the police.
Authorities said the lack of oxygen Dorika suffered during the attack severely damaged her heart, and she had to have three surgeries. She received a new heart in July 2018, according to Dallas Morning News.
The girl appeared in Tarrant County court Monday, where she came face-to-face with King and called him a “bad man,” KXAS reported.
The girl has lived with her family in Fort Worth for a few years after fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“The faith that her family has given her, the support she’s had from her family is what kept us going on this case,” Hinz said. “She was an inspiration just to find a result in this case.”