GALVESTON, Texas – Jurors were told during opening statements of a Houston-area man's capital murder trial that the 8-year-old boy he's accused of setting on fire needed daily operations for months to treat his severe burns.
Prosecutors say 29-year-old Don Collins was 13 in 1998 when he doused the child with gasoline and lit him on fire in Splendora, northeast of Houston.
Robert Middleton was burned across 99 percent of his body and endured years of physical therapy before he died in 2011 from skin cancer blamed on his burns.
A judge in March determined that Collins could be tried as an adult for murder despite being a teenager at the time.
Defense attorneys Tuesday said there were no witnesses to the 1998 attack and that prosecutors are playing to the jury's emotions.