GALVESTON, Texas – Jurors have imposed a 40-year prison sentence on a Texas man convicted in a childhood arson attack on a boy who died as a result nearly 13 years later.
Don Collins was sentenced Tuesday for pouring gasoline on Robert Middleton and setting him on fire on Middleton's eighth birthday in 1998 near Splendora, about 35 miles northeast of Houston. Prosecutors say Collins burned the boy to silence him after earlier sexually assaulting the child.
Middleton endured years of physical therapy before he died in 2011 from skin cancer blamed on his burns.
The 29-year-old Collins was convicted of capital murder Monday. His punishment was capped at 40 years because he was 13 at the time of the attack.
Prosecution and defense teams presented arguments Tuesday before the jury started deliberating.