TEXAS (KHOU) – A Texas man who prosecutors called “a child rapist, a murderer and a monster” was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Feb. 10 for dousing a boy in gasoline and setting him on fire in a crime that horrified the Houston area almost 17 years ago.
Don Collins didn’t show any visible reaction when the judge read the sentence.
Collins, now a 29 year-old registered sex offender, was only 13 years old when he tried to kill Robbie Middleton, a friendly 8 year-old boy who lived next door to his home in Splendora. The victim later said in a deathbed interview that Collins had raped him a couple of weeks before setting him on fire, leading prosecutors to conclude Collins wanted to silence Middleton by murdering him.
Jurors in the punishment phase of Collins’ capital murder trial heard testimony painting a frightening picture of a serial molester who was a violent sexual deviant even in his boyhood. One witness recalled Collins raping him, another recalled him fondling her and another tearfully recounted how he had stomped one of her kittens to death.
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