Technical issues delay criminal case against Highland Park shooting suspect’s father

In Robert E. Crimo Jr.’s brief court hearing at the Lake County courthouse, lawyers said they hit a snag in sharing discovery evidence related to the Fourth of July shooting that left seven dead and 48 wounded, allegedly at the hands of his son, Robert E. Crimo III.

SHARE Technical issues delay criminal case against Highland Park shooting suspect’s father
Robert E. Crimo Jr., center, father of Robert Crimo III, listens as he sits with his attorney George Gomez, left, during an appearance before Judge George D. Strickland at the Lake County, Ill., Courthouse Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in Waukegan, Ill. Crimo Jr., faces seven counts of felony reckless conduct for signing the application for his son’s firearm owners ID card in December of 2019.

Robert E. Crimo Jr., center, father of Robert Crimo III, listens as he sits with his attorney George Gomez, left, during a court appearance Jan. 26.

Associated Press

Lawyers involved in the case against the father of the Highland Park parade shooting suspect said Tuesday they have hit a snag in sharing discovery evidence and the judge questioned whether prosecutors need more time to wait for additional evidence.

It was Robert E. Crimo Jr.’s first hearing since pleading not guilty to counts of reckless conduct in February for signing his son’s firearm ownership application when he was a minor.

His son, Robert E. Crimo III, is accused of legally purchasing rifles and firing on last year’s Fourth of July parade, killing seven people and wounding 48 others.

In a nine-minute court hearing at the Lake County Courthouse, Crimo Jr.’s attorney George Gomez said a hard drive containing a terabyte of evidence from prosecutors had become “corrupted” and he was unable to view it.

When prosecutors tried to fix the issue by sending a new hard drive, the data on their computer became corrupted, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Jeffery Facklam told Judge George Strickland.

Strickland asked how much longer prosecutors needed to complete the discovery process after the technical issue is resolved.

Prosecutors said they were still waiting on subpoenas to be returned for victims’ hospital records. Strickland questioned whether prosecutors needed medical records of the wounded victims since Crimo Jr.’s charges are related only to the seven people who died.

“I highly doubt we would use it,” Facklam said about the wounded people’s records. Prosecutors have said they have tied the discovery processes between the two Crimo’s cases, sharing all of the evidence in the son’s case with his father’s attorney.

Records from federal court also need to be tendered, the judge said, alluding to unsealed federal search warrants that showed the younger Crimo allegedly briefly planned to use explosives in the parade attack.

Facklam and Gomez said they would likely file motions before the next court hearing, which Strickland set for June 14.

At his last appearance in court, Crimo pleaded not guilty on Feb. 16 to seven counts of reckless conduct. Prosecutors said he signed his son’s FOID application while knowing his son had expressed “violent ideations,” and had threatened to kill himself and his family.

The younger Crimo, 22, remains at Lake County Jail pending his ongoing murder case.

Crimo Jr., 58, has been free since posting a $50,000 bond after he was charged in December. The charges carry a sentence of one to three years in prison, followed by six-month parole and a maximum fine of $50,000.

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