Prosecutors seek justice for burned Texas boy

JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press Published:

CONROE, Texas (AP) -- Texas prosecutors hope new evidence helps them obtain justice for a boy who was doused with gasoline and set on fire on his eighth birthday back in in 1998.

Robert Middleton survived the attack and endured years of surgeries. But he died 13 years later, at age 20, from cancer that authorities say was caused by third-degree burns.

Montgomery County authorities last month filed a murder charge against Don Willburn Collins, a neighbor who 13 at the time. He had been arrested in the case years ago but was later released. Collins is now 28.

The case lay dormant for years. But shortly before he died in 2011, Middleton alleged that Collins had sexually assaulted him before he was set on fire. That allegation prompted a new investigation.