Texas Man Can Be Tried For Childhood Crime, Judge Says

CONROE (March 6, 2014) State District Judge Kathleen Hamilton ruled Thursday in Conroe that a Texas man can be tried as an adult for a childhood attack on a boy who died nearly 13 years after the incident.

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

Middleton survived, but died in 2011 of skin cancer authorities attributed to his injuries.

Collins, who’s now 28, was charged with murder last year, but prosecutors needed the case moved out of juvenile court in order to take him to trial.

After a hearing this week, state Hamilton ruled Thursday that Collins' case can be transferred, which allows the murder case against Collins to proceed.

Collins' attorney questioned the constitutionality of moving the case from juvenile court.