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Doctor finds Milwaukee acid attack suspect fit for trial

Associated Press

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This undated photo from the Milwaukee County Jail shows Clifton Blackwell. (Milwaukee County Jail)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 61-year-old Wisconsin man accused of throwing acid in a Latino man’s face during a racist attack is competent to stand trial, according to a doctor’s report released to court Monday.

Clifton Blackwell, who is white, is charged with first-degree reckless injury in a case that’s being prosecuted as a hate crime. He’s accused in the attack on Mahud Villalaz in Milwaukee in November after accusing him of being in the country illegally and invading the U.S. Villalaz suffered second-degree burns.

Blackwell spoke little during a brief court appearance in Milwaukee County District Court on Monday, saying he wouldn’t contest the findings. Blackwell had previously said he didn’t think an evaluation was needed.

If he’s convicted on the reckless injury charge, Blackwell could face a sentence of 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 is due in court again Jan. 14 for a preliminary hearing. He remains held on $20,000 bond.

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