The father of the Highland Park parade massacre suspect reported to begin his jail sentence on Wednesday wearing a T-shirt saying “I’m a political pawn,” prompting a Lake County judge to threaten him with contempt of court if he broke court rules again.
Robert Crimo Jr. walked into the Lake County Courthouse wearing the shirt against Judge George Strickland’s decorum rules. The back of the shirt read “Laws, facts, reality.”
By the time he appeared in the courtroom, the shirt was inside out. But the judge still lambasted him.
“The rules are not negotiable,” Strickland told Crimo Jr. “Did you read the rules?”
“No,” Crimo Jr. replied, holding a lectern, face unshaven and a shoe untied.
“That’s very interesting,” the judge said.
He threatened to hold Crimo Jr. in contempt of court if he broke the rules again.
A sheriff’s deputy escorted Crimo Jr. to a backroom, not handcuffed, after inventorying a book on constitutional law with a copy of the Constitution tucked into it.
Crimo Jr. accepted a plea deal last week. He agreed to serve 60 days in jail and two years of probation while pleading guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct.
He will serve half the time with good behavior.
Crimo Jr. will serve out his sentence at the Lake County Jail, where his son Robert Crimo III is being held on 117 felony counts. His son is accused of opening fire from a rooftop during the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade in 2022, killing seven people and wounding 48 others.
After the hearing, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said Crimo Jr.’s decision to make a statement with the T-shirt raises questions “whether he understands what he has done.”
“I believe that his shirt today shows that he is not taking this seriously, that he is not remorseful for his acts which caused so much pain and damage,” Rinehart told reporters. “I think we’ve learned a lot about how Mr. Crimo looks at this case.”
The father was set to go to trial last week as prosecutors sought to prove he recklessly signed the gun ownership card application for his son in 2019 when his son was too young to do so himself.
Crimo Jr. signed it despite knowing his son had threatened an unrelated mass shooting a few years before allegedly opening fire at the parade, prosecutors said.
The shooting suspect was 19 when he received the firearm owner’s identification card, two years sooner than he could have received it without a parent’s or guardian’s signature.
Crimo Jr. accepted a last-minute plea deal that spared him from a potential three-year sentence had he been found guilty of felony reckless conduct charges.
His son is set to appear in court in December when a judge said she might set a trial date.
https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/11/15/23962208/highland-park-parade-shooting-robert-crimo-father-court-t-shirt-contempt-surrender-plea-deal Robert Crimo Jr. threatened with contempt for wearing ‘I’m a political pawn’ T-shirt to court