No testimony from Highland Park massacre suspect at dad’s trial next week

The Highland Park massacre suspect will not testify at his father’s trial, which is set to begin next week.

Robert Crimo Jr. had been seeking to have his son testify in his own trial on charges the elder Crimo recklessly signed his then-underage son’s gun ownership application.

But after Robert Crimo III’s attorney said the son would use his Fifth Amendment right if called, Judge George Strickland said Crimo III wouldn’t need to appear.

"I don’t see any reason why he should physically be here to do that," said Strickland, who will be presiding over the bench trial.

The father’s lawyer, George Gomez, said he had subpoenaed the son’s attorneys to call him as a witness. One of the son’s attorneys, Gregory Ticsay, said he still hasn’t received the subpoena.

Crimo III remains jailed on charges that he opened fire with an assault rifle on parade-goers on July 4, 2022, killing seven and wounding 48 others. His trial date has not been set.

In Monday’s court hearing, Strickland denied the father’s last-minute motions to exclude prosecutors’ witnesses.

That includes testimony of a therapist to Crimo III’s younger brother. The therapist had called police to Crimo III’s home twice in 2019, months before the father signed the gun ownership application, based on statements Crimo III had made threats to himself and others.


Prosecutors said they want to call the younger brother, Sam Crimo, as a witness.

The judge also plans to allow testimony from someone at a Christian-based outreach group who, when Crimo III was a freshman in high school, allegedly witnessed Crimo III make concerning statements about a school mass shooting.

The witness had alerted Crimo III’s father, who tried to minimize the incident, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in court Monday. While the witness discussed with Crimo Jr. whether his son should have access to guns, the son took a toy gun and mimicked shooting the witness in the neck, Rinehart said.

Strickland also declined to dismiss allowing text messages between the father and son that allegedly show Crimo III was suicidal and in which the father allegedly calls his son "irrational."

Gomez and prosecutors intend to play portions of a 7 1/2-hour video-recorded interrogation of Crimo III the night after the shooting.

Crimo Jr. is due in court again Friday morning for final discussions about logistics of the trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 6.