The father of the suspected Highland Park, Illinois, mass shooter pleaded guilty to reckless conduct instead of beginning his trial on Monday.
Robert Crimo Jr. was charged with seven counts of reckless conduct, accused of signing the Firearm Owner’s Identification card for his son, Robert Crimo III, to apply for gun ownership. The younger Crimo was 19 at the time and and too young to get a FOID card on his own. Illinois at the time required people ages 18, 19 or 20 to have parent or guardian authorization.
Crimo Jr., who was arrested in December 2022, had earlier opted for a bench trial that was supposed to begin Monday.
As a part of the plea deal, Crimo Jr. will serve 60 days in jail and two years of probation.
Crimo Jr. took the plea deal because he “did not want his family to be more torn apart on the public stage than it already is,” his attorney, George Gomez, told reporters on Monday, according to Chicago ABC station WLS.
And, as a member of the Highland Park community, “the last thing that Mr. Crimo wants is the Highland Park community to relive these tragic events and make a public spectacle of this,” Gomez said.
Crimo Jr.’s son, Robert Crimo III, is accused of killing seven people and injuring dozens of others in the mass shooting at a 2022 Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
Crimo Jr. told ABC News days after the shooting, “I filled out the consent form to allow my son to go through the process that the Illinois State Police have in place for an individual to obtain a FOID card.”
“They do background checks. Whatever that entails, I’m not exactly sure. And either you’re approved or denied, and he was approved,” he said.
“Signing a consent form to go through the process … that’s all it was,” Crimo Jr. said of his involvement. “Had I purchased guns throughout the years and given them to him in my name, that’s a different story. But he went through that whole process himself.”