On his eighth birthday he was tied to a tree, doused in petrol and set on fire. The inferno left Robbie Middleton with third-degree burns to 99 per cent of his body. No-one expected him to survive. But in a story of staggering courage, Robbie lived. He endured 200 operations and endless therapy to repair the burns. Tragically, he was to die just weeks short of his 21st birthday from a cancer which doctors blamed on the original injuries. After years of such terrible suffering, Robbie's premature death was to have one positive outcome. In a harrowing 17-minute video made just before he died, he named the man he believed had torched him in Splendora, Texas, in 1998. And he also claimed that he had been raped by the same person, a 13-year-old neighbor called Don Collins, two weeks before being set alight. The terrible act was, Robbie alleged, a way of ensuring his silence. His accusations have opened the way for Collins, now a 27-year-old
convicted sex offender, to be charged with felony murder. The charge is only made for a criminal offense which has happened in conjunction with another crime.
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