CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois prosecutors told a judge Thursday that they are presenting evidence to a grand jury for a possible indictment against the father of the man charged with fatally shooting seven people at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago.
Robert Crimo Jr., 58, was arrested in December on seven felony counts of reckless conduct. He is accused of helping his son obtain a gun license years before the 2022 Highland Park shooting, even though the then-19-year-old had reportedly threatened violence.
One count of reckless conduct carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Prosecutors told Judge George Strickland at a brief hearing Thursday in a Lake County court in Waukegan, north of Highland Park, that they were presenting evidence to the grand jury and expected a decision by mid-February. The next court date is Feb. 16.
Crimo, a longtime resident and well-known figure in Highland Park, was released after his arrest last month on a $50,000 bond.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart has said 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.”
Authorities say Illinois State Police reviewed the son’s gun license application and found no reason to deny it because he had no arrests, no criminal record, no serious mental health problems, no orders of protection and no other behavior that would disqualify him.
George M. Gomez, the father’s Chicago-area attorney, has called the charges against his client “baseless and unprecedented.”
Legal experts have said it’s rare for an accused shooter’s parent or guardian to be charged — in part because it’s difficult to prove such charges.
A grand jury indicted Crimo's son, Robert Crimo III in July 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 at the holiday parade in Highland Park.
Follow Michael Tarm on Twitter at @mtarm.