WAUKEGAN, Ill. — A development in the reckless conduct trial of Bob Crimo Jr. in Lake County took a surprise turn when the 59-year-old defendant reached a plea deal minutes before he was to stand trial. 

After negotiations through the weekend, parties decided on a plea agreement with Bob Crimo Jr. pleading guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct. He will also spend 60 days in the Lake County Jail and be on probation for two years with 100 hours of public service.  

Crimo Jr. was also ordered to surrender his FOID card, firearms and ammunition.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart described details of the agreement and the reasoning behind the decision, hailing the guilty plea as a victory, saying it is the first successful prosecution of its kind.

“There have been very few parents who have been held accountable for the actions of their children,” Rinehart said. “That era has come to an end.”

Rinehart described the details and the legal calculations behind the difficult decision and the likelihood that appellate courts could challenge his innovative and aggressive prosecution. 

“Today, the legal system has found that Robert Crimo Jr. bears responsibility for endangering so many, and he, himself, has agreed,” Rinehart said. “This is a crime.”

Brendan F. Kelly, director of Illinois State Police, said Monday’s announcement broke new ground.

“You may not be the person pulling the trigger. You may not be the one with the firearm, but you could be held liable for that conduct,” Kelly said.

The central question surrounding the reckless conduct trial was what, if any, did Bob Crimo Jr. know about his son’s documented mental health problems? 

At the time, he sponsored his teenage son’s application for a FOID card, allowing his then 19-year-old son to purchase firearms.

Prosecutors contended that his decision to facilitate his son’s purchase of firearms was criminally reckless and a contributing factor to the tragedy in Highland Park on July 4, 2022.