Judge rules Texas man can be tried for childhood attack

03/11/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Texas – A judge has determined that a Texas man can be tried for murder for an attack he stands accused of carrying out in 1998, when he was 13 years old. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the judge ruled Thursday that Don Willburn Collins could be tried as an adult for murder in connection with the 2011 death of Robert Middleton, who developed skin cancer years after being burned across 99 percent of his body when he was eight-year-old.

Middleton’s mother, Colleen Middleton, is quoted by the AP as stating of the judge’s decision, “When Robert died we were thinking maybe nothing will ever happen, maybe someone is just going to get away with what they did to him… It’s been a long road.”

Collins was arrested in 1998 after being named as Middleton’s attacker, but was released from juvenile detention after prosecutors stated there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case. He was charged with murder last year.

State District Judge Kathleen Hamilton is quoted as stating in her ruling, “Because the state did not have probable cause to proceed in juvenile court and new evidence has been found since the 18th birthday of (Collins), I have further determined there is probable cause to believe that (Collins) committed the offense alleged.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Texas Legal News

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