The accused Highland Park parade shooter, who is set to go on trial in February, has been placed in the maximum security unit of the jail after he threatened a corrections officer, sheriff’s officials said.
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.
He has been held in the Lake County Jail without bond since July 6, 2022.
Crimo III appeared for a case management hearing on Monday before Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti.
Crimo III was seen wearing a red shirt, indicating he was in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) of the Lake County Jail.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said Crimo III was placed in ASU, also known as the maximum security, for rule violations.
Covelli said that Crimo III violated the rules in the jail on November 6 by verbally threatening a correctional officer.
The incident occurred when Crimo III became upset during a random shakedown of his cell, Covelli said.
Correctional staff routinely search the cells for contraband and homemade weapons.
As long as Crimo III does not violate the rules again, he will be released back to his previous cellblock on January 4, Covelli said.
During the Monday hearing, Crimo III appeared alongside attorneys Gregory Ticsay and Anton Trizna, both public defenders.
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.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said after the court hearing that his office has been working “tirelessly” since the case began.
Rinehart said prosecutors will be ready for the February trial.
“Our victim specialists have been in constant communication with the victims and their families throughout the case and will continue to do so,” Rinehart said.
The state’s attorney said he had no comment regarding Crimo’s decision to represent himself.
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.