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Highland Park Parade Shooting: Prosecutors Get More Time to Indict Suspect’s Father
Prosecutors asked a court on Thursday for extra time to make a case to a grand jury against Highland Park shooting suspect Robert E. Crimo III’s father. During a brief hearing at the Lake County Courthouse, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Facklam stated that “unexpected absences in our office” prevented prosecutors from obtaining an indictment against Robert E. Crimo Jr.
If he does not receive treatment, my son will die from rare cancer. He must be saved. Crimo Jr. is charged with seven counts of reckless conduct for allowing his son to obtain firearms — one count for each of the persons slain in the Highland Park Fourth of July massacre last year.
Since being indicted in December, Robert E. Crimo Jr. has been released on bond. According to prosecutors, Crimo Jr. sponsored his son’s application for a state handgun owner’s identity card in 2019 when his son was underage. Despite previously threatening to harm himself and his family, the son received the FOID card in early 2020.
The next court hearing has been set for February 16 by Judge George D. Strickland. Extra: Lawyers for the suspected Highland Park parade gunman request more time to analyze the “volume” of evidence. During the hearing, attorneys informed Strickland that the discovery process had commenced and that prosecutors would reveal all evidence produced in the case against Crimo Jr.’s son.
Facklam stated that they will require a terabyte hard drive to transfer the massive amount of information. Crimo Jr. faces up to three years in jail if convicted. Following Thursday’s court hearing, the older Crimo’s attorney, George Gomez, stated that the prosecution’s delay in seeking an indictment demonstrates that they have a difficult case to establish.
“I believe that this case may be an uphill battle for the state right now,” Gomez told reporters. According to Gomez, Crimo Jr. intends to attend his son’s future court appearances, the next of which is planned for Tuesday.
Crimo Jr. “took a reckless and unnecessary risk to sign his son’s application for a handgun owner’s identification card,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in December. Gomez called the claims “baseless and unprecedented” at the time.
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The younger Crimo has been in custody since he was charged with killing and shooting seven people and injuring scores more during the town’s Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park. The FOID card was required for Crimo III to lawfully acquire the Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic firearm that he allegedly used on the Fourth of July.
The gun was retrieved near the location of the shooting, and another rifle was discovered in the automobile that Crimo III was driving when he was arrested later that day. According to officials, the two weapons were legally purchased in the Chicago region.
Highland Park police officers were dispatched to the Crimo residence in September 2019 after receiving information that Crimo III had threatened to “murder everybody.” The crime was not arrested since he and his mother denied it.
Police confiscated knives from the son’s bedroom, but his father claimed ownership. The knives had been returned. Highland Park police issued a “clear and present danger” complaint to Illinois State Police following the event, stating that Crimo III acknowledged a history of drug use and despair. Following Crimo III’s arrest in July, Illinois State Police Director Brandon Kelly stated that there was insufficient evidence to deny him a FOID card when it was issued.