Jury trial delayed for man charged in acid attack hate crime

NOW: Jury trial delayed for man charged in acid attack hate crime

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The jury trial for the man charged with a hate crime in which he is accused of throwing acid on a Latino man in November 2019 has been pushed back a week from its scheduled start date.

"I'm dismayed that this case from 2019 has not been litigated yet," Judge Jean Kies said. "We need to get to trial."

Clifton Blackwell, 64, was charged in the incident with first-degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon as a hate crime.

Jury selection was set to begin Monday, April 18, but scheduling conflicts caused the trial to be delayed.

The incident leading to the case occurred when Blackwell and Mahud Villalaz got into an argument over parking on the city's south side. That argument escalated and police say Blackwell, who is white, called Villalaz "illegal" and asked him, "Why did you invade my country?"

Villalaz, who is a U.S. citizen who emigrated from Peru, called Blackwell a "racist." It was after that moment Blackwell is accused of throwing acid onto Villalaz, causing second degree burns.

If Blackwell is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years along with 10 years of extended supervision. Since he faces a hate crime charge, that adds an additional five years in prison.

Jury selection is now scheduled to begin April 25.

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