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Judge: Milwaukee man to face trial in racist acid attack

January 29, 2020 GMT
FILE - in this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, Clifton A. Blackwell, is led into a Milwaukee County Court in Milwaukee. Milwaukee prosecutors have enough evidence to try Blackwell, accused of throwing acid on a Latino man's face during a racist attack that's being prosecuted as a hate crime, a judge ruled Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 in Milwaukee. Prosecutors have charged Blackwell with first-degree reckless injury in the attack on Mahud Villalaz in November after accusing him of being in the country illegally and invading the United States. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP, File)
FILE - in this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, Clifton A. Blackwell, is led into a Milwaukee County Court in Milwaukee. Milwaukee prosecutors have enough evidence to try Blackwell, accused of throwing acid on a Latino man's face during a racist attack that's being prosecuted as a hate crime, a judge ruled Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 in Milwaukee. Prosecutors have charged Blackwell with first-degree reckless injury in the attack on Mahud Villalaz in November after accusing him of being in the country illegally and invading the United States. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP, File)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee prosecutors have enough evidence to try a 62-year-old white man accused of throwing acid on a Latino man’s face during a racist attack that’s being prosecuted as a hate crime, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Clifton Blackwell is charged with first-degree reckless injury. Prosecutors say he attacked Mahud Villalaz in Milwaukee in November after accusing him of being in the country illegally and invading the United States. Villalaz suffered second-degree burns.

Blackwell’s lawyer asked for the case to be dismissed and that request was denied. Blackwell is due in court Feb. 3 to enter a plea.

His attorney, Gary Rosenthal, did not immediately return a voicemail left at his Milwaukee office on Wednesday.

If he’s convicted on the reckless injury charge, Blackwell could face up to 25 years in prison. But designating the case as a hate crime and charging him with use of a deadly weapon could add sentence enhancers of 10 years more in prison.

Blackwell remains in custody on a $20,000 bond.