In what can be called a horrifically disturbing crime, an innocent 8-year-old boy was tied to a tree and set on fire. Luckily, he was able to get free and run home before collapsing in front of his family. Years later on his deathbed, he whispered something that guaranteed his justice.
On the day of his eighth birthday, Robbie Middleton was walking through the woods in Splendora, Texas to meet a friend for a sleepover when he emerged from the trees in flames. He had been tied to a tree and set alight by an attacker who is now known to be thirteen-year-old Don Collins.
Robbie’s mother found him close to death with severe burns covering 99 percent of his body, leaving only the soles of his feet unharmed. Despite being told that he would not survive, Robbie underwent countless skin grafts and more than 150 operations before he got stronger.
He was disfigured but showed tremendous character; despite all that pain, he still found time and energy to raise funds for other burn victims.
Robbie Middleton eventually died at age 20 due to cancer caused by the burns he suffered as a child. Before dying, however, he gave a deposition which provided justice for himself and his family years later after much suffering.
In this video deposition – given on his deathbed – Robbie named Don Collins as his attacker and revealed that Collins had raped him just 17 days prior in those very same woods. This evidence led to Collins being tried as an adult rather than juvenile custody and resulted in him being sentenced to 40 years behind bars.
On top of that, the Middleton family received $150 billion dollars in a civil lawsuit – the largest sum ever awarded in U.S history – although they are unlikely ever see it due their grief over losing Robbie.