Robert Crimo, Jr., the father of the Highland Park Parade shooter last week pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor charges for helping his son obtain a gun permit when he was 19 years old, the Associated Press reported.
Crimo Jr. pleaded guilty just as his trial on seven counts of felony reckless conduct, one for each person killed by his son Robert Crimo III at the Highland Park July 4th Parade in 2022. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of misdemeanor reckless conduct.
Immediately following Crimo Jr.’s guilty plea, Lake County Judge George Strickland sentenced him to 60 days in jail and 100 hours of community service.
In 2019, Crimo Jr.’s then-19-year-old son wanted to apply for a gun license but because of his age could only apply with the sponsorship of a parent or guardian. Crimo Jr. agreed to sponsor the application, despite an incident only months earlier when a relative reported Crimo III for threatening to “kill everyone.”
State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said Crimo Jr. also knew at the time that his son had expressed suicidal thoughts. Rinehart argued that even though it had been two and a half years between when Crimo Jr. sponsored his son’s application and the deadly mass shooting, he was still “criminally reckless” to provide an affidavit for his son’s license application.
Rinehart said the plea deal and Judge Strickland’s sentence were good results and sent a message to other parents, law enforcement, and prosecutors nationwide that they should be “held accountable.”
According to George Gomez, Crimo Jr.’s attorney, his client agreed to the plea partly to spare the community the ordeal of having to relive the day of the shooting. Gomez said his client was also concerned that if the details and evidence of the shooting were aired during his trial, his son would not get a fair trial.
Crimo Jr.’s 60-day jail sentence started this week.