A judge told attorneys during a hearing Friday that he wants a trial to take place no later than October or November for the father of the accused Highland Park parade shooter.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Robert Crimo Jr., 58, of Highwood, in mid-December with seven counts of reckless conduct causing great bodily harm.
Crimo Jr. appeared in court Friday for a case management conference.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Jeffrey Facklam told Lake County Judge George Strickland that the discovery process is mostly completed but some evidence still needs to be turned over to the defense.
Attorney George Gomez, who is representing Crimo Jr., asked for a trial to be set for sometime around March. Gomez said he is still undecided whether he will request a judge or jury trial.
Strickland said March was too long and told both sides October or November would be preferred.
Strickland also said that an extended media request has been filed but he has not ruled on whether he will allow media recording in the courtroom at trial. That ruling could come in September.
The judge scheduled the next hearing in the case for July 14. The trial date is expected to be scheduled then.
A grand jury returned an indictment in February formally charging Crimo Jr. with the seven counts of reckless conduct causing great bodily harm, a Class 4 felony.
“Parents who help their kids get weapons of war are morally and legally responsible when those kids hurt others with those weapons,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said following the indictment.
“We presented our evidence to a grand jury and they agreed the case should move forward. We will continue to seek justice for the victims and prosecute those who endanger the community,” Rinehart said.
Crimo Jr. has pleaded not guilty to the seven counts against him.
Crimo Jr. is the father of 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, who currently faces 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Prosecutors and Highland Park police officers allege that Crimo Jr. was criminally reckless at the time that he helped his son obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.
Prosecutors said that helping his son obtain a FOID card was a contributing cause to the harm suffered by the murder victims in the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park.
The man’s son, Crimo III, was under 21 when he sought to obtain the FOID card and required his father’s participation in the application process.
Lake County Judge Paul Novak found probable cause for the charges and issued a warrant for Crimo Jr.’s arrest in mid-December.
Crimo Jr. was released from the Lake County Jail on December 17 after posting 10% of a $50,000 bond.
Rinehart said during a December press conference that parents are in the “best position” to decide whether their teenager should have a weapon.
“They are the first line of defense. In this case, that system failed when Robert Crimo Jr. sponsored his son,” Rinehart said.
“He knew what he knew, and he signed the form anyway. This was criminally reckless and a contributing cause to the bodily harm suffered by the victims on July 4,” Rinehart said.
Illinois State Police and the Lake County Major Crime Task Force have detailed two past law enforcement encounters with Crimo III.
Crimo III applied for the FOID card in December 2019 after police responded in September 2019 to his residence when he threatened to “kill everyone.”
A “clear and present danger” report was filed with the state police but no one in the family wanted to move forward with a criminal complaint.
Crimo III had also attempted suicide in April 2019, prompting a police response.
Reckless conduct is a Class 4 felony and Crimo Jr. can be sentenced to up to three years in prison, but he could also receive probation.