Judge refuses to dismiss case against father of accused Highland Park shooter

A Lake County judge rejected a motion on Monday to dismiss the case against the father of the suspected Highland Park parade shooter.

Robert Crimo Jr. was charged with seven counts of reckless conduct for helping his son get a firearm owner identification card three years prior to the July 4th shooting that left seven people dead and dozens of others wounded.

His attorney asked Lake County Judge George Strickland to dismiss those charges, arguing that the law is over-broad and vague on the issue.

He said Crimo Jr. was truthful and broke no laws when signing to sponsor his son's gun permit.

Strickland rejected that argument, as well as a defense contention that prosecutors charged Crimo Jr. too late — after a three-year statute of limitations had passed. The court’s rulings mean Crimo Jr.'s Nov. 6 trial will go head as previously scheduled.


Crimo Jr. pleaded not guilty earlier this year to seven counts of reckless conduct — one count for each person killed. Each count carries a maximum three-year prison term.

Prosecutors had alleged that he helped his son, Robert Crimo III, obtain a gun license even though the then-19-year-old had threatened violence.

The four-sentence section of the state law invoked to charge Crimo Jr. says "a person commits reckless conduct when he or she, by any means lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or acts that ... cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person."

A defense filing argued that the law’s lack of specificity makes it impossible to know what actions qualify as criminal reckless conduct. They also say it offers no definition of "cause," opening the way for prosecutors to wrongly link the signing of a gun license application to a shooting years later.

Crimo Jr. waived his right to a jury trial last month choosing a bench trial instead.

The father is a familiar face around Highland Park, where he was once a mayoral candidate and operated convenience stores. He was released on a $50,000 bond after his December arrest.

If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.