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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Father of alleged Highland Park parade shooter pleads guilty to reckless conduct, sentenced to 60 days in jail

Robert Crimo Jr. leaves the Lake County Courthouse following a hearing for charges on seven felony counts of reckless conduct on Jan. 26 in Waukegan, Ill.    (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)
By Chloe Hilles Chicago Tribune

The father of alleged Highland Park parade shooter Robert Crimo III entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor reckless conduct charges Monday in Lake County Court.

Robert Crimo Jr. was sentenced to 60 days in the Lake County jail as part of an 11th-hour negotiated plea with Lake County prosecutors.

He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. He will surrender to authorities to begin serving the jail term on Nov. 15.

He was charged in late 2022 with felony reckless conduct about five months after his son allegedly opened fire on the July 4 parade in Highland Park, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others.

Authorities alleged that the father knew his son was a poor candidate for firearms ownership when the father signed an affidavit for his then-underage son in 2019 that allowed him to get a firearm owners ID card and purchase guns. One of the guns Crimo III purchased was the assault rifle he used on July 4. 2022.

Defense attorney George Gomez said Crimo Jr. felt it was in the best interest of his family and the Highland Park community not to publicly relive the tragedies of the Fourth of July shooting in a public trial.

“The last thing Mr. Crimo wants is the Highland Park community to relive these tragic events and make a public spectacle,” Gomez said at a news conference.

As the trial date approached, Gomez said it appeared the state’s strategy required pitting the Crimo family against one another, especially given the father would be prosecuted before the son, disclosing key evidence to the public and jeopardizing his son’s right to a fair trial.

“As a father, Mr. Crimo wanted to ensure that his son received a fair trial,” Gomez said.