A judge threatened to hold the father of the Highland Park parade shooter in contempt after he showed up to court wearing a shirt that said “I’m A Political Pawn” before being taken to the jail to serve his sentence.
Robert Crimo Jr., 58, of Highwood, arrived at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan Wednesday morning.
Crimo Jr. walked into the courthouse wearing a shirt that read “I’m A Political Pawn” on the front.
The back of the shirt said “LAWS, FACTS, REALITY.”
A court order filed last month prohibits anyone in the courtroom from wearing any message or item that could influence or affect the orderly administration of court proceedings.
Sheriff’s personnel reported the incident to the court that Crimo Jr. was potentially in violation of Lake County Judge George Strickland’s decorum order.
Strickland threatened to hold Crimo Jr. in contempt of court if he violated the rules again.
“It is obvious now, after Mr. Crimo stands convicted, that he has zero remorse for his reckless actions and the pain he caused,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said following the incident.
“Mr. Crimo has every constitutional right to remain silent. Now, he has spoken and instead of taking any responsibility, he has shown unbelievable callousness. This callousness will follow him into the jail and beyond; it will follow him everywhere,” Rinehart said.
Crimo Jr. turned his shirt inside out before entering the courtroom for the brief remand hearing.
Crimo Jr. was escorted out of the courtroom to the Lake County Jail by a court security officer to begin serving his 60-day jail sentence.
Earlier this month, the man entered into a plea deal with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Crimo Jr. pleaded guilty to seven counts of reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, in exchange for his felony charges being dismissed.
The plea deal consists of two years of probation, 100 hours of public service and 60 days in the Lake County Jail.
A remand order did not list a specified end date for his sentence but said he would receive good time credit and credit for two days already served.
Crimo Jr. will be required to surrender his FOID card and weapons as part of his probation.
Strickland accepted the plea deal and sentenced Crimo Jr. to the agreed terms on the day Crimo Jr.’s trial was set to begin last week.
Rinehart said the families of the seven victims killed in the Highland Park mass shooting had been “consulted extensively” about the plea agreement.
The state’s attorney said at the time that a “powerful message is being sent” as a result of the guilty plea.
“Robert Crimo, Jr., made the reckless and dangerous decision to sponsor his son’s FOID application. This wasn’t a fishing license. This wasn’t a permission slip to go to the museum – this was a permission slip for his son to buy an assault rifle. And when he signed this permission slip – he knew exactly how dangerous it was for this 19-year-old to have a weapon,” Rinehart said.
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, 2022, 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.
The younger Crimo, who is being held on 117 charges, is scheduled to appear in court again on December 11.