An Illinois father who assisted his son in obtaining a gun license three years before the son allegedly carried out a mass shooting during a Fourth of July parade near Chicago will face trial after a judge refused to dismiss the case. The defense argued that the prosecution charged the father, Robert Crimo Jr., under an unconstitutionally vague law after the 2022 massacre in Highland Park. However, the judge rejected this argument as well as the defense’s claim that the charges were filed too late after the statute of limitations had expired. Therefore, Crimo Jr.’s trial is set to proceed as scheduled on November 6th.
Crimo Jr. had previously pleaded not guilty to seven counts of reckless conduct, one count for each person killed. Each count carries a maximum three-year prison sentence. Prosecutors alleged that he helped his son, Robert Crimo III, obtain a gun license despite being aware of the son’s violent threats.
The portion of the law invoked by prosecutors states that reckless conduct occurs when a person recklessly performs an act that causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person. The defense argued that the law’s lack of specificity makes it unclear what actions can be considered criminal reckless conduct. They also contended that the law’s definition of “cause” allows prosecutors to wrongly link the signing of a gun license application to a shooting that occurred years later.
Despite these arguments, the judge stated that the law limits reckless conduct to actions that cause great bodily harm. The father’s defense team referred to the charge as an attempt to criminalize the act of signing a truthful affidavit. They noted that no one had been prosecuted for signing a truthful affidavit under oath in Illinois before.
The son, Robert Crimo III, was indicted last year on multiple counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery with a firearm. He is accused of fatally shooting seven people and injuring dozens during the Fourth of July parade. The investigation also revealed that bomb-making materials were found in his apartment.
In conclusion, the father will proceed to trial for assisting his son in obtaining a gun license prior to the tragic mass shooting.