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CHANGE OF VENUE DECISION WILL WAIT

030314 DAY ONE DON COLLINS HEARING.Still001

Friday morning Donald Collins appeared in the 359th District Court for a change of venue hearing. Judge Hamilton heard from both the prosecutors and defense on the argument that Collins would not be able to receive a fair trial in Montgomery County. Defense Attorney Tay Bond said with not just the broadcast media, but also the print media and social media, the case was too well known in the county.  He presented Judge Hamilton with a binder of articles from print media in this area from over the years on the case.

Prosecutors told the Judge that since this case happened so long ago they believed even with the fresh publicity an impartial jury could be seated in this county. Prosecutors content that in the population has grown to almost 450,00much of which has been in the past several years.

Judge Hamilton decided to review the documents and make a decision on Monday.

Colleen Middleton and her daughter Heather who have been at every hearing involving Donald Collins. She says she is excited that they will get a date soon for a trial but she is also anticipating an appeal even after the trial which is scheduled to start on January 5.

. On June 28, 1998 Robbie Middleton celebrated his eighth birthday, and then he was murdered, though it was more than a decade before he died from his injuries.  Robbie was playing at his Splendora home that fateful day, when he asked permission to go to a friend’s house on the next street. The neighborhood children had worn a narrow trail through the woods to the next street.

Not long after he started down the trail, 8-year-old Robbie was confronted by 13-year-old Don Collins, who is accused of pouring gasoline on Robbie, and then lighting it. Robbie ran up the trail still on fire and tearing off his clothes. He soon emerged on Crossnow, the street he lived on. Several people saw him and ran to try and help. One grabbed a bucket of water; a passerby stopped and called for an ambulance. Others, including Don Collins and Robbie’s father comforted him. When someone asked who had done this to him, a semi-coherent Robbie responded with the name “Rex,” who was another friend that lived down the street. As they waited for EMS to arrive, Robbie’s father went to Rex’s house, but nobody was home.

Medics soon arrived and requested Life Flight, which flew the severely burned boy to Shriners Burn Center.

Just before Robbie Middleton’s 21st birthday, he died. An autopsy determined his cause of death was cancer, caused by the deep burns and multiple skin grafts. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

Not long before he died, Robbie Middleton gave a 17-minute video deposition in which he told of Collins sexually assaulting him 10 days earlier before the gasoline attack. He also implicated Collins as the person who set him on fire.

 

MIDDLETON

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