The father of the man charged in the deadly Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting today pleaded guilty to helping his son get a gun license.
Robert Crimo Jr. had been due to stand trial on seven counts of reckless conduct leading to his son’s massacre but struck a plea deal at the eleventh hour.
He will be jailed for 60 days and carry out two years probation in part for signing his son’s application for a Firearm Owner’s Identification card to buy a gun in 2019.
Crimo Jr. must also perform 100 hours of community service, surrender his Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card, and any weapons he might own, CBS News Chicago reported.
Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 22, allegedly killed seven people and wounded dozens more when he clambered onto a rooftop and opened fire on paradegoers in Highland Park, Illinois, in 2022. He has pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial in December.
Pictured: Robert E. Crimo Jr. waits to leave after an appearance at the Lake County Courthouse on Friday in Waukegan, Illinois on Friday during a pretrial hearing
Pictured: Accused shooter Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 22, appeared in the Lake County court at his second hearing held on November 1 in Waukegan, llinois
FBI agents at the scene a day after the 22-year-old suspect opened fire at the July 4th parade on July 4, 2022 in suburban Highland Park, Illinois killing seven and injuring dozens
Three years before the mass shooting, Crimo Jr. sponsored his son’s gun license application.
Crimo III, who was 19 at the time, was too young by state laws to apply for the firearms on his own, even though a relative reported months prior to police that the teen had a collection of knives and had threatened to ‘kill everyone.’
Crimo Jr. walked out of court on Monday and is set to report to jail on November 15.
Prosecutor Eric Rhinehart said that had the case gone to trial, witnesses would have testified that at the time Crimo Jr. signed his son’s FOID card application he was aware his son recently had sent suicidal text messages.
Police had reports Crimo III had threatened his family, and that police had received reports of the boy threatening to commit suicide, and that he ‘had expressed an interest in committing a mass shooting’ in 2014 or 2015.
Under the plea deal, Crimo Jr. is admitting he was aware his son ‘was a substantial risk to others’ when he signed Crimo III’s FOID card application, Rinehart said.
The father, who owns a deli bearing his name and at one point ran for the town’s mayor, said last year after the massacre that he was ‘shocked.’
‘I had no — not an inkling, warning — that this was going to happen,’ he said.
But, prosecutors argued that the boy’s father ignored glaring signs that his son was capable of violence, The New York Times reported.
In December 2022, Crimo Jr. was arrested and pleaded not guilty earlier this year to the seven counts of reckless conduct.
He waived his right to a jury trial, meaning the judge – Judge George Strickland will hear the evidence and issue a verdict.
On Friday, during a pretrial hearing at the court, Crimo Jr.’s defense attorney George Gomez called the charges against his client ‘baseless and unprecedented.’
Judge George D. Strickland listens to Robert Crimo Jr’s attorney George Gomez during an appearance at the Lake County Courthouse on Friday
Crimo Jr’s attorney George Gomez is seen speaking to Judge George D. Strickland during the pre trial hearing on Friday
Robert E. Crimo III pictured left) looks at Judge Victoria A. Rossetti while listening to Judge Victoria A. Rossetti during a hearing in Lake County court Wednesday, August 3, 2022
The judge has said he will allow Crimo III’s statement to police after his arrest as evidence, and both sides are expected to cite the transcript at Crimo Jr.’s trial.
Video of the interrogation – which the judge has viewed – will not be shown, to protect the suspected gunman’s right to a fair trial.
Crimo III will neither attend nor testify at his father’s trial to avoid incriminating himself, his lawyer, Gregory Ticsay, has said.
The boy faces 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery. He has has pleaded not guilty to 117 criminal charges, as per the news outlet.
Potential evidence – prosecutors say Crimo III admitted he was the gunman when he was arrested hours after the shooting – is voluminous.
Anti-gun violence advocates said they are encouraged that police and prosecutors are investigating anyone who may have contributed to the attack, but legal experts say criminal liability can be hard to prove against a shooter’s parent or guardian.
Crimo III was 21 at the time of the shooting and remains in jail.
Illinois has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the country.
It requires most firearms owners to obtain a gun license, called a firearm owner’s identification card (FOID) which is issued by the Illinois State Police.
According the gun laws, Illinois prohibits any person under age 18 from possessing a handgun. State law also generally restricts people from knowingly transferring a handgun to any person under age 18, according to Giffords Law Center.
Additional limitations under the laws are a minors’ access to firearms through its firearm licensing process, which prohibits individuals from possessing firearms if they do not hold a valid license called a FOID- a Firearm Owners Identification card.
In order to obtain a FOID card, an individual must be over 21 years of age or have the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and acquire firearms and ammunition.
Prosecutors claimed the Cimino Jr. acted recklessly in sponsoring his son’s FOID card.
Rhinehart said when he announced the charges last year that ‘people bear responsibility when they recklessly endanger others,’ the Times reported.
He continued: ‘The government is not typically going to know more than a parent about what’s going on with an 18- 19- or 20-year-old.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk