MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 61-year-old man accused of throwing acid on a Latino man’s face is due in court in a case that’s being prosecuted as a hate crime.
The hearing for Clifton Blackwell on Friday is to decide whether there’s enough evidence for a trial. He’s charged with first-degree reckless injury.
Prosecutors say Blackwell, who is white, confronted 42-year-old Mahud Villalaz near a restaurant and threw acid on his face after accusing him of being in the country illegally and asking him why he was invading the U.S. Surveillance video from the restaurant recorded the attack, which left Villalaz with second-degree burns on his face.
Villalaz is a U.S. citizen who immigrated from Peru.
Designating the case as a hate crime means Blackwell could face a longer sentence if convicted.