CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge on Friday set a Nov. 6 trial date for a father charged with helping his son obtain a gun license three years before the son allegedly shot dead seven people at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago last year.
The father, Robert Crimo Jr., told Judge George Strickland at a hearing in Waukegan — north of Highland Park, where the shooting occurred — that he was waiving his right to a jury trial. That means Strickland will hear evidence and issue verdicts at the end of the bench trial.
Earlier this year, Crimo Jr. pleaded not guilty to seven counts of reckless conduct — one count for each person killed. Each count carries a maximum 3-year prison term.
The judge Friday also set an Aug. 7 hearing for arguments on a defense motion challenging the constitutionality of laws that underpin charges against the father. Judge Strickland will also consider a media request that the trial be streamed live at an Aug. 28 hearing.
Prosecutors have said the father helped his son, Robert Crimo III, obtain a gun license years before the shooting, even though the then-19-year-old had threatened violence.
A grand jury indicted the son last year on 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery, representing the seven people killed and dozens wounded in the attack. Potential evidence is voluminous in the son’s case and no trial date has been set.
Robert Crimo Jr. has shown up at several of his son’s pretrial hearings. 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.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said after the father’s arrest that the accusations against the father are based on his sponsorship of his son’s application for a gun license in December 2019. Authorities say Robert Crimo III attempted suicide by machete in April 2019 and in September 2019 was accused by a family member of making threats to “kill everyone.”
George M. Gomez, the father’s Chicago-area attorney, has previously called the accusations against his client “baseless and unprecedented.”
Legal experts have said it’s rare for an accused shooter’s parent or guardian to face charges — in part because it’s difficult to prove such charges.