Petition for Murder Charge Filed Against Suspect in Burn Attack, Death

By: KHOU Email
By: KHOU Email

HOUSTON— The Montgomery County Attorney’s Office filed a petition Tuesday for a murder charge against Donald Collins, the man suspected of setting a Splendora boy on fire in 1998, which eventually led to the young man's death.

Donald Collins, now 27 years old, has long been the main suspect in the horrific attack on Robbie Middleton. Collins was only 13 when he allegedly doused 8-year-old Middleton with gasoline and set him on fire. Middleton sustained burns to over 99 percent of his body and eventually developed skin cancer.

Thirteen years later, dying from those burns, Middleton gave an unnerving deposition about Collins.

“[Collins] pulled my clothes down and started raping me,” he said and went on to testify Collins set him on fire two weeks later.

Middleton’s sister Heather says that’s why he was burned: “To keep him quiet about being raped.”

Collins was convicted of sexually assaulting another 8-year-old boy, his cousin, years later.

He was never charged, however, in Middleton’s assault and maintains his innocence in that crime.

Authorities did not seek assault charges back then, saying there was conflicting testimony from Middleton, who was heavily medicated because of his burns.

Once Middleton’s death in 2011 was ruled a homicide, it opened the door for a murder charge. Because Collins was a child when the crime occurred, legal technicalities kept prosecutors from officially charging him, but Middleton’s family and attorneys kept pushing for justice.

Judge Kathleen Hamilton, of the 359th District Court, will now decide if the case moves from the County Attorney, which handles juvenile crime, to the District Attorney’s Office for adult prosecution.

Authorities hope the transfer hearing will be held in December.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, Trolling or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to comments@kbtx.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus
KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 170280816 - kbtx.com/a?a=170280816
Gray Television, Inc.