The man accused of killing seven and shooting dozens at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade has discharged his attorneys and will be representing himself at his trial, which has been set for February.
Robert E. Crimo III, 23, of Highwood, faces 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Crimo III appeared alongside his attorneys Gregory Ticsay and Anton Trizna, both public defenders, during a case management hearing Monday morning.
The hearing was held before Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Dillon informed the court that Crimo III wishes to proceed pro se — without an attorney — in the case.
Rossetti asked numerous questions to Crimo III about his experience in court and with trials.
He said he has no experience with trials and has only been in court before as an observer.
Rossetti said the trial is expected to last four to six weeks, including 7-10 days for jury selection, due to the number of witnesses.
“Do you understand sir, that this court will not be in a position to help you in any way? You will be considered as an attorney and will have to subpoena witnesses without the help of any attorney,” Rossetti said before continuing to list tasks that Crimo III would have to do by himself.
Crimo III responded and said he understood and did not want more time to discuss the decision with his attorneys.
The judge initially wanted to schedule the trial for February 2025 but Crimo III said he wished for a speedy trial.
Rossetti scheduled the trial for 9 a.m. on February 26, 2024.
Crimo has been held in the Lake County Jail without bond since July 6.
The 22-year-old’s father, Robert Crimo Jr., 58, of Highwood, was charged in December 2022 with seven counts of reckless conduct causing great bodily harm, a Class 4 felony.
Crimo Jr. pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, in exchange for his felony charges being dismissed.
He was sentenced to two years of probation, 100 hours of public service and 60 days in the Lake County Jail.
Prosecutors and Highland Park police said 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.
Prosecutors previously said Crimo III admitted to “looking down his sights” of his Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle before opening fire on the crowd on July 4, 2022, near Second Street and Central Avenue in Highland Park.
Crimo told investigators he fired two full 30-round magazines before loading a third 30-round magazine and firing, Dillon said.
Seven people were killed and dozens of others were shot. 83 spent shell casings were recovered at the scene.