Lawyers for accused Highland Park parade shooter ask for more time to review ‘volume’ of evidence
Robert Crimo III flashed a peace sign as he left the courtroom.
Lawyers for the man accused of killing seven people at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade asked the judge Tuesday for more time to review the large amount of evidence shared with them.
Robert Crimo III’s lawyers said they have received 2,500 pages of evidence from prosecutors and expect to receive thousands more in the coming days.
“Because of the volume of discovery, we don’t believe setting a trial date is prudent,” Crimo’s public defense attorney Anton Trizna told Judge Victoria Rossetti.
Crimo raised his shackled right hand and flashed a peace sign as he stood to be escorted from the courtroom after the brief hearing.
Rossetti set Crimo’s next court hearing for Jan. 31. The judge said lawyers also need more time due to issues with subpoenas for victims’ medical records.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart told reporters the agreement to continue the discovery phase is a sign that Crimo’s lawyers are pleased with the cooperation of prosecutors.
“All of that information needs to be tendered to the defense in an orderly and cataloged way. And that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Rinehart said. “There have been no problems in that process. The defense did not make any complaints today, appropriately.”
The evidence includes information from witnesses, victims, officers and surveillance videos, Rinehart said.
Crimo was indicted on 117 felony charges. He pleaded not guilty on Aug. 3.
Crimo turned 22 in late September at the Lake County Jail, where he has been held without bail.
Crimo is the target of a dozen civil lawsuits filed by shooting victims. Those lawsuits also accuse gunmaker Smith & Wesson of deceptive advertising practices; two gun shops of selling Crimo an assault weapon while allegedly knowing he was a resident of Highland Park, which bans the weapons; and Crimo’s father, who signed paperwork to allow his son to buy the guns as a minor.
Lawyer Antonio M. Romanucci, whose team represents four dozen victims in several civil lawsuits, said the hearing was “meaningful in continuing the pursuit of justice for this heartbreaking community and national tragedy, while parallel efforts continue with civil litigation.”
“We are fiercely committed to bringing justice for the families of those who lost their lives and those whose lives were forever changed by this senseless act of violence,” Romanucci said in a statement.
Crimo’s parents have spoken to their son by phone but not in person since the shooting, said George Gomez, a lawyer helping Crimo’s father but not in the civil lawsuits.
“They’re still mixed with emotions, but they’d like to keep their opinions private at the moment. They’re still trying to heal as well,” Gomez told reporters outside the Lake County courthouse Tuesday.
The younger Crimo is accused of firing an assault rifle at paradegoers from a rooftop at Central Avenue and Second Street in the north suburb. Seven people died, and 48 others were wounded.
Crimo allegedly disguised himself in women’s clothes during the attack and dropped the rifle while running away. Police said they identified Crimo by that weapon and from images from surveillance cameras. Police arrested Crimo as he drove his mother’s car in North Chicago, eight hours after the attack.
The victims who died were Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacki Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; Nicolas Toledo, 78; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69.