The father of the man who is charged with killing seven people at the July 4 parade in Highland Park last year has pleaded not guilty to charges he recklessly aided his son in obtaining a firearm.
Robert Crimo, Jr., 58, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of felony reckless conduct during a brief hearing Thursday, one day after a Lake County grand jury indicted him on those charges.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart previously alleged Crimo Jr. took a “reckless and unjustified risk” in December 2019 when he signed his son’s application for a FOID card. At the time, Crimo III was only 19 years old and could not legally obtain a FOID card or purchase a firearm without his father’s assistance.
“Parents who are reckless when they help their kids get weapons of war are morally and legally responsible for the harm that follows,” Rinehart said in a statement. “We presented our evidence to a grand jury, and they agreed the case should move forward. We will continue to seek justice for the victims and prosecute those who endanger the community.”
As an individual under the age of 21, Crimo III was unable to obtain a FOID card without his father’s participation in the application process. According to prosecutors, Crimo Jr. acted recklessly because “of the information he had about his own son.”
Highland Park police had two interactions with Crimo III in 2019. One occurred that April after he allegedly attempted suicide. Months later in September, Crimo III allegedly threatened family members, saying he was “going to kill everyone.”
His father was first charged in the case last December.
Crimo III was arrested last July after an extensive manhunt. He allegedly fired more than 80 rounds from a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle during the attack and disguised himself in women’s clothing in order to conceal distinctive face and neck tattoos and blend into the crowd as he made his escape.
The seven people killed were 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein; 35-year-old Irina McCarthy and her 37-year-old husband Kevin McCarthy; 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim; 88-year-old Stephen Straus; 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza; and 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo.
Crimo Jr. is due back in court for a hearing April 4.