Man Charged In Mass Shooting At Fourth Of July Parade Near Chicago To Stand Trial Next February

Judge Victoria A. Rossetti oversees a case management meeting for Robert E. Crimo, III at the at the Lake County Courthouse Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 in Waukegan, Ill.  Crimo is charged with killing seven people at a July 4 parade. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool)
Judge Victoria A. Rossetti oversees a case management meeting for Robert E. Crimo, III at the at the Lake County Courthouse Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 in Waukegan, Ill. Crimo is charged with killing seven people at a July 4 parade. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool)
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CHICAGO (AP) — The man accused of killing seven people and injuring dozens more, including children, at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago in 2022 will stand trial next February, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Robert Crimo III is charged with 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery for the shooting in Highland Park. Judge Victoria Rossetti on Wednesday scheduled his trial to begin Feb. 24, 2025.

Crimo would face a mandatory sentence of life without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Authorities have said Crimo, 23, confessed to police in the days after he opened fire from a rooftop in Highland Park, terrifying parade participants and spectators. Authorities have said he initially fled to the Madison, Wisconsin, area and contemplated a second shooting at a parade there but returned to Chicago's northern suburbs.

Wednesday's scheduling decision followed several months of uncertainty about a timeline for the accused gunman's trial.

Crimo fired his public defense attorneys in December, telling Judge Victoria Rossetti that he would represent himself. He also demanded an earlier trial date. But a few weeks later, he asked the judge to reinstate his attorneys.

Lake County prosecutors said Wednesday that they could be prepared for an earlier start this fall. Rossetti declined, saying both sides had agreed to a February 2025 start date before Crimo's brief insistence on representing himself.

Rossetti scheduled a hearing for April 24 to discuss attorneys' progress preparing for trial.