CONROE, Texas (AP) — Legal experts say prosecutors hoping to secure a murder conviction against a Texas man accused of setting an 8-year-old boy on fire as a teenager will face a difficult task.
A judge ruled Thursday that 28-year-old Don Willburn Collins can be tried as an adult for murder in the death of Robert Middleton.
Middelton died 13 years after the then-13-year-old Collins allegedly doused him with gasoline and set him on fire in 1998. Middleton died of a skin cancer authorities blamed on his burns.
Houston criminal defense attorney Grant Scheiner, who's not involved in the case, says the biggest hurdle for prosecutors will be linking Middleton's death to the attack.
He also says prosecutors lack direct evidence against Collins and that Collins' alleged confessions to others could face heavy scrutiny.