Texas Man Indicted for Murder in Childhood Crime

By: Associated Press and staff Email
By: Associated Press and staff Email

MONTGOMERY COUNTY - A grand jury has indicted a Texas man on a capital murder charge for a childhood attack near Splendora on a boy who died nearly 13 years later.

Authorities say Don Willburn Collins was 13 when he poured gasoline on Robert Middleton and set him on fire during Middleton's eighth birthday in 1998.

Middleton survived but died in 2011 of skin cancer authorities blamed on his injuries.

A prosecutor says the indictment alleges the motive for the attack was that Collins wanted to keep Middleton from testifying that he'd been sexually assaulted by Collins.

The Montgomery County grand jury's indictment Thursday came after a judge ruled in March that Collins' case could be transferred from juvenile to adult court.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said he hopes to try the case by the end of the year.

An attorney for the 29-year-old Collins didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

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