Highland Park, News

Plea deal nixes trial of father of alleged Highland Park shooter

Crimo Jr. guilty on 7 counts and gets 60 days in jail, 2 years probation

Prosecutors and the father of the Highland Park shooting suspect reached a plea deal prior to the start of his trial on Monday.

As read in court Monday by Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, Robert Crimo Jr. pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct for helping his son obtain the firearm identification card that enabled the purchase of the weapon allegedly used to murder seven people and injure dozens on July 4, 2022, in Highland Park.

Prosecutors said Crimo Jr. will spend 60 days in county jail and two years on probation, which will include 100 public service hours, Rinehart said. The judge stated that as conditions of his probation Crimo Jr. is to have no contact with firearms and surrender his FOID card during the two years and never sponsor a FOID application for a minor again.

Crimo Jr. is scheduled to surrender and begin his sentence on Nov. 15.

Rinehart confirmed at the Monday proceeding that the victims’ families were notified of the plea deal.

Robert Crimo Jr. was arrested in December 2022 and charged with felony reckless conduct for sponsoring a FOID application for his son, who was too young, 19, to apply for one on his own.

At the time of Crimo Jr’s arrest, Rinehart said, “We must remember the long-standing principle that people bear responsibility when they recklessly endanger others These are the moral and legal foundations on which these charges rest.”

Rinehart started that Crimo Jr. possessed information that made the sponsorship of his son’s FOID application reckless. The FOID application was approved in January 2020.

Each of Crimo Jr.’s seven reckless conduct charges represents a victim of the mass shooting on July 4, 2022. On that day, the gunman fired more than 80 rounds in under a minute from an assault-style weapon that he purchased after acquiring the FOID card. He shot more than 50 people, killing seven: Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park; Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; Jacki Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan.

Police apprehended and arrested the suspect about nine hours after the shooting, eventually approving more than 100 charges, including seven counts of murder, related to the shooting.

According to previous police statements and media reporting, law enforcement interacted with the alleged gunman at least twice prior to the Fourth of July shooting, including just two months before his FOID application was submitted in December 2019.

Rinehart said Monday that evidence showed that at the time Crimo Jr. submitted the FOID application he was aware that his son recently had sent suicidal text messages and expressed suicidal ideation; that the son in 2019 threatened violence against his family; and that the son expressed interest in committing a mass shooting in 2014 and 2015.

“Because the defendant knew more than the Illinois State Police was aware of the substantial risk to others when he signed the FOID sponsorship form in 2019,” Rinehart said. “And through these actions he endangered the lives (of the Highland Park victims, listed above).”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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