Doctor to examine competency of man accused in acid attack

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 61-year-old man accused of throwing acid on a Latino man’s face during a racist attack will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he can assist in his criminal defense.

Clifton Blackwell’s lawyer asked for the evaluation during a Friday hearing in Milwaukee. Blackwell’s next court date is Nov. 25.

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 of confronting Mahud Villalaz near a restaurant and throwing acid on his face after accusing him of being in the country illegally and invading the U.S.

Villalaz suffered second-degree burns.

Investigators say they found several bottles of acid and cleaners during a search of Blackwell's home. 

In court, Blackwell asked if he could have access to his life savings to help him in his defense. 

"The second issue that I’m going to raise is to have a court date set in front of the judge just so that we can at least, for him to be able to figure out his assets and whether or not he currently whether we can continue as his counsel or if he can retain counsel if he needs to," Blackwell's attorney said. 

Blackwell is facing up to 35 years in prison if he is convicted. 

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