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Man Accused of Burning Child to be Tried as Adult

Man Accused of Burning Child to be Tried as Adult

The man accused of setting an eight-year-old boy on fire in Montgomery County 15-years-ago will be tried as an adult.

Twenty-eight-year-old Donald Collins is awaiting trial in a 1998 assault that left his neighbor disfigured by burns after being doused with gasoline and set ablaze.

The judge issued her ruling after watching the victim's deposition which was recorded shortly before his death in 2011.

“He told that Don Collins burned him, and more than this, in May of 2011 he told that Don Collins sexually assaulted him,” the judge said.  “I find this child's testimony during the video deposition to be credible and to be true.”

Robbie Middleton died of cancer that the medical examiner ruled was related to his burns, calling it a homicide.

“When he did that deposition he knew he was dying, I'm glad it wasn't for nothing,” said Middleton's mother after the hearing.

“I hope they put Mr. Collins on the stand, I want to hear what he has to say, I've been waiting all this time,” said Colleen Middleton. 

Collins faces up to life in prison if convicted of killing Middleton.  He already has been convicted of molesting another child.

“I would like to see him kept out of society, because if he gets out he'll be living next door to someone else who may have children, and that is very scary,” said Middleton.

Defense attorneys argued the constitutionality of moving the trial out of juvenile court.  After the hearing, they claimed the prosecution has no case, arguing the trial is based only on hearsay.

 

 

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