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Texas man indicted for capital murder for childhood attack on boy 13 years ago.

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  • Texas man indicted for capital murder for childhood attack on boy 13 years ago.

    HOUSTON – A Texas man was indicted Thursday for capital murder in a childhood attack on a boy who died nearly 13 years later from skin cancer blamed on the horrific burns he suffered in the assault.

    Authorities allege that at age 13, Don Willburn Collins attacked Robert Middleton on his eighth birthday in 1998 near the younger boy's home in Splendora, about 35 miles northeast of Houston. Middleton was burned across 99 percent of his body and endured years of physical therapy before he died in 2011.

    The 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 the case can be tried by the end of the year.

    E. Tay Bond, an attorney for Collins, now 29, said there is no credible evidence in the case that would result in a conviction.

    "I think the indictment for capital murder is a direct reflection of the desire that this community has to hold someone accountable for the tragedy that was bestowed upon Mr. Middleton," Bond said.

    Collins, who is being held on $1 million bond, is set to be arraigned on June 19.

    Bond said he plans to ask for a change of venue and will present evidence at trial of Collins' history of mental disability.

    One point of contention is the maximum prison sentence Collins could face if convicted.

    If Collins had been certified to stand trial as an adult when he was a juvenile, his maximum sentence would have been 40 years. The maximum term for capital murder as an adult is life in prison.

    "We believe the full range of punishment is life," Ligon said.

    Bond said 40 years should be the maximum possible sentence.

    Collins spent several months in juvenile detention in 1998 after Middleton named him as his attacker. He was released after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to pursue the case.

    Shortly before he died, Middleton gave a videotaped deposition in which he accused Collins for the first time of sexually assaulting him two weeks before the attack. The sexual assault allegation prompted investigators to reopen the case.

    Collins also faces a charge in neighboring San Jacinto County of failing to register as a sex offender.
    Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/05/15...y-who-died-13/

    I think this case is going to be pretty interesting to follow. I just don't see him getting convicted for murder though by a jury.
    Last edited by Miller11x; 05-21-2014, 11:30 PM.

  • #2
    IMO, it will depend on what happened with the original agg batt trial (if there was one, there is no indication in that article that he has ever been punished for the initial attack), and how viscious it was. If they think the original intent was to kill that kid, I can see a jury convicting him.

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    • #3
      Seems they'd have a hard time convincing a jury that a 13 year old child knew what he was doing. Of course if the prosecution can get the jury to see him as the 29 year old man he is now instead of a 13 year old then all bets are off.
      He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
      shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
      - Psalm 91:1

      On Ignore - A few folks.

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      • #4
        Hopefully one of our members who is an attorney can chime in, but:

        I think the bigger issue would be proving proximity. Proving that the the victim would not have contracted skin cancer but for the burns he suffered.

        For example, if A robbed B, and B was so distraught that three days later he committed suicide, A can't be charged with murder or can he?
        Last edited by vc859; 05-22-2014, 09:34 PM.

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        • #5
          I'm wondering if the prosecution is using part of the law that basically says if a person harms another in such a way so as to cause that person's death (even if death is not immediate) then a murder conviction is possible. In other words, the perpetrator could foresee his actions causing the death of someone else, regardless of whether the other person actually dies. In this case, the other boy did die, so that "could" strengthen the prosecution's case. Express and/or implied malice could very well be a factor here also.

          It's similar to a scenario where one person intends to shoot another person, but the bullet hits a different person altogether. Then the malice against the intended target is transferred to the actual target.

          I think that between the intent to do harm and the malice element, the prosecution is probably relying more on the malice angle. That is to say, if malice wasn't a factor, then the harm done to the other boy would most likely not have caused his death.
          It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bsd13 View Post
            Seems they'd have a hard time convincing a jury that a 13 year old child knew what he was doing. Of course if the prosecution can get the jury to see him as the 29 year old man he is now instead of a 13 year old then all bets are off.
            Even 13 knows raping an 8-year-old and setting him on fire is wrong. Having said that the 40 years is probably enough as long as he serves all of them or dies trying. What a POS and still molesting children all these years. Even his attorney is asking for 40 years what does that tell you about the lowlife things he's done that we don't know about.
            "Every day should include a perfectly grilled thick steak, freshly roasted coffee and seats on the 50-yardline.

            Oh, and bacon. It should start with bacon."
            ------- Me

            ~~~~

            Agent and manager of the world's only authentic lucky football kitty. Don't believe me?
            Just look at the Seattle Seahawks 1976-2010, compared to 2011-present. (and yes, I've been a fan that long)

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            • #7
              Wouldn't this be considered double jeopardy?
              Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dingbat View Post
                Wouldn't this be considered double jeopardy?
                No, they didn't go forward the first time, not enough evidence.

                "Collins spent several months in juvenile detention in 1998 after Middleton named him as his attacker. He was released after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to pursue the case."
                Originally posted by Ceridwen
                Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

                Comment

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