Man who set boy on fire makes court appearance

October 21, 2013 2:57:01 PM PDT
A man accused of dousing a boy with gasoline and then setting him on fire on his eighth birthday in 1998 was in court Monday.

Don Willburn Collins appeared before a judge to formally hear the murder charge filed against him last month.

Authorities say when Collins was 13, he poured gasoline on then 8-year-old Robert Middleton and set him on fire. Middleton survived the attack, but died in 2011 from skin cancer that authorities say was caused by the deep burns.

Middleton had long accused Collins of burning him. But authorities say that right after the attack, Middleton was too injured to help their investigation.

Collins was a teenager when the burning happened, but cannot be tried for murder in the juvenile system because he is now an adult.

Last week, a judge ordered Collins be held on a $1 million bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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