Burned boy's family seeks long-delayed justice against alleged - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Burned boy's family seeks long-delayed justice against alleged attacker

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For the first time in 15 years, the family of an 8 year old boy came face-to-face, once again, with the man accused of setting him on fire.

Twenty-eight year old Don Collins was in court on Wednesday, finally facing charges in the intentional burning of Robert Middleton, back in 1998.

Collins was 13 years old when he allegedly doused Middleton with gasoline and set him on fire, causing burns to 99% of the younger boy's body. It happened on Robbie Middleton's 8th birthday.

Middleton's family later won a record-setting (and largely symbolic) $150 billion civil judgment against Don Collins, who is unlikely to pay even a tiny fraction of the damages.

But for years, prosecutors felt they didn't have enough evidence to charge Collins with a crime.

In 2013, however, Montgomery County officials spent months building their case, amassing 55,000 pages of documents and evidence.

Unfortunately, in 2011 Robbie Middleton died - at the age of 20 - from injuries related to the burns.

"Robert died feeling as if he didn't matter," said his mother, Colleen Middleton. "People that should have helped him didn't help him. But now I feel like finally, finally, we're going to have closure. Someday we'll be able to somewhat put this behind us."

Officials are hoping a judge will let them proceed with murder charges against Don Collins. If convicted, he would face a potential sentence of life in prison.

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