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Boy tied to tree and set on fire names attacker on his death bed 13 years later.

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Robbie Middleton
Robbie Middleton

Here’s a story that will probably leave you wondering about the state of the human condition, one to live through it and the other to destroy it…

On his eight birthday Robbie Middleton was tied to a tree doused in gasoline and set on fire. Somehow he was able to survive the incident even if it left him with horrific third degree burns to 99% of his body.

At the time no one expected him to survive. But Robbie did survive until he passed away recently, 13 years after the assault as a result of recurring complications. He passed away a few weeks short of what many would consider to be a milestone, that of his 21st birthday.

During the thirteen years since the incident Robbie was forced to undergo excruciating surgery (a total of 200 operations) as well as endless therapy in order to deal with his substantive injuries, all the while maintaining the will to survive until cancer caught up with him.

What though went unsolved was the identity of the perpetrator of the horrific crimes against this young boy until that is Robbie Middleton finally found the courage on his deathbed to publicly release the name of his attacker. The same attacker that Robbie claims raped him two weeks prior to him being set alight.

With the identity of his perpetrator, Don Collins, a former thirteen year old neighbor revealed authorities have now moved to charge Mr Collins, a 27 year old convicted sex offender with felony murder.

Alleges Robbie in a video he made whilst on his deathbed the attempt on his life was made so as to permanently silence him and not divulge details of the rape that he had endured by a then 13 year old Mr Don Collins.

Asserts the dailymail.co.uk: Montgomery County attorney David Walker is changing the charges in order to be able to prosecute Don Collins as an adult, despite the fact that committed the crime as a juvenile.

Mr Walker also hopes that the additional accusations of sexual assault will not only explain the torching, but also explain why it took so long for Mr Collins to be prosecuted. 

‘It was done to prevent Middleton from talking,’ Walker told the Houston Chronicle. ‘It provides the bridge that we needed for the delay, rather than saying we didn’t have sufficient staffing or something else.’

Reflected Colleen Middleton, Robbie’s mother:

‘It was so hard to take in what my eyes were seeing.

‘All of his hair was scorched, and there was skin hanging around his ankles.

‘A little while later, I walked down to the tree where it happened. There was a perfect outline of Robbie’s body scorched intuit the bark of the tree.’

Robbie Middleton

At the time of incident Don Collins was detained by authorities but later released after it became apparent that there was no clear or compelling evidence directly correlating him to Robbie Middleton being tied up and burned. Then of course there was the matter that Robbie’s injuries were so horrific that he was physically unable to communicate with anyone let alone reach out to authorities.

Huffpo goes on to tell how the boy’s parents were awarded $150 billion in a civil lawsuit against Collins in December 2011, while Collins was serving prison time for failing to register as a sex offender. He had been convicted in 2001 of sexually assaulting a child in a case unrelated to Middleton.

The award is largely perceived to be symbolic and the parents don’t expect to ever see any money. According to the Schulenburg Sticker, the family hoped the verdict would pressure the county into prosecuting Collins for murder.

Since Collins was released from prison in September, Montgomery County attorney David Walker has filed murder charges against Collins, charging him as an adult, rather than a juvenile.

Reflects one commentator that perhaps puts the whole situation in a compelling light that on reflection has a lot of veracity:
To me the root of the problem is HOMOPHOBIA. 

1. More than likely Collins was himself a victim of abuse that simply tried to get away from being a victim by “acting like a man” and raping Robbie. Yes – I know it is a speculation but given the amount of child abuse – it is a likely scenario.

2. Then Robbie – raped – has to deal with the stigma. If we lived in a society that did not blame the victim for “asking for it” and did not put such incredible amount of shame on homosexual contact – Robbie could have told somebody about the rape and Collins would be arrested. Instead Robbie tried to “take it like a man” and did not want to add a shame of “being a sissy” raped by another male.

3. Then Collins decides to murder Robbie – or perhaps just “teach him a lesson” by setting him on fire. 

If both Collins and Robbie did not face huge stigma of being victims of abuse and rape and if they reported the crimes – there would be two kids in therapy (maybe) today instead one going onto become a rapist and another dying horrible death. 

Wanna blame homosexuals? Look at ourselves and the culture we create. If a little girl is raped and set on fire do we “blame it on heterosexual lifestyle” ? No – that is nonsense. Most people that rape kids are heterosexual anyways.

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  • Chris Jones

    what a fucking idiot the SJW commenter is. Pretty sure homophobia is not the cause of someone raping and fucking burning someone alive, more like serve psychosis? Seriously the level of stupidity is offensive.

  • David Rosenblatt

    I’m sorry, but there’s something wrong with this picture. An 8 year-old boy couldn’t be induced by his parents, police, teachers, peers, etc. to name the person who so horribly abused, tortured and maimed him?? Yes, he may have been initially unable to communicate with anyone, but it’s clear from the story that those faculties did eventually return to him. I’ve no doubt that the people talking to Robbie informed him that, unless his assailant was apprehended, he’d be sure to commit horrible crimes against others. (And, as we know now, he certainly did.) There’s obviously more to the story here, and it would be nice if reporters could learn to ask the right questions.

  • mikinzla

    They tolerate the intolerable.

  • mikinzla

    you are an insipid, weak, useless “human”….your heart goes out more to Robbie?? how much?? 5%? 3%? 41.5%?

    Repentance?? Why dot’ you seek repentance for being who you are? And,, god damn you.

  • JMM

    Simply horrifying! What is wrong with people?

  • lashaan lott

    This story just breaks my heart! Don Collins may also be a victim but my heart goes out more to Robbie! He suffered miserably and died in the end! Don Collins is still living, he can still find repentance, redemption, and live out the rest of his life! This is heart wrenching pain for a parent! GOD bless them and GOD bless Robbie…tears!!

  • ishmael2009

    Wow. This is such a sad story. Was it really necessary to put the gratuitous and simplistic homily about homophobia in there? Abuse is abuse: attempts to pin it to homophobia are, whilst well-meant, ultimately as misguided as attempt to pin it it to homosexuality. There are sick people in this world. There have always been sick people, and sadly, there will always be sick people. It sucks but there it is.

    NOTE FOR THE HARD-OF-THINKING:

    My point is that trying to find post-hoc reasons for why someone would do this are almost always invidious, whether they’re pop-psychology summaries of repression or conservative theories about lack of moral standards and violence on TV.

  • frank riley

    Seriously? There is a “lot of veracity” to the idea that homophobia is the root of a child rape and an attempted murder of a child? That’s a bit of a stretch there, Judge Judy. You might want to re-examine your system of logic before you go making overly broad assertions like that. How about we say that child rape and attempted murder of a child are rooted in original sin, and call it a day. That’s Old Testament -based, Judeo-Christian ethics, a code of laws that was around a long time before you were ever born, and will be around a long time after you have passed on. Human nature being what it is and all, people don’t need a reason to do something horrible. Sometimes people are just vicious.

  • MG

    I don’t know what to say. My first reaction was life in prison, but I read the Don Collins was a victim of abuse. So I think 30 years in prison with a lot of therapy and along hevily supervised probation period after he gets out. He was thirteen when he did it, but violence of this caliber is not an exception. I am split I feel bad that Don Collins was abused. I feel horrible that he burned a 8 year old kid, too. I am split in my decision.