UNITED STATES NEWS

Father charged with helping suspect in July 4 shooting obtain gun license asks judge to toss case

Aug 6, 2023, 9:05 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2023, 2:50 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge heard arguments Monday on a father’s request to dismiss charges accusing him of committing a crime by helping his son obtain a gun license three years before the son fatally shot seven people at a 2022 Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago.

The judge said at the hearing in Waukegan, north of Highland Park where the shooting occurred, that he would issue a ruling at the next hearing, on Aug. 28.

Robert Crimo Jr.’s lawyer, George Gomez, told the court that his client was charged under an unconstitutionally vague law. He said prosecutors charged Crimo Jr. for “innocent conduct” — signing “a wholly truthful” affidavit helping his son, Robert Crimo III, apply for and obtain a gun license.

Charges against parents following mass shootings are rare partially because the cases are difficult to prove, legal experts have said.

Crimo Jr. has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of reckless conduct, one for each person killed. Each count carries a maximum three-year prison term. Prosecutors allege the father aided the son in getting a gun license even though he knew the then-19-year-old had previously threatened violence.

If Lake County Judge George Strickland rejects Gomez’s arguments and allows the case to proceed, Crimo Jr.’s bench trial would start Nov. 6.

The four-sentence section of the state law invoked to charge Crimo Jr. says “a person commits reckless conduct when he or she, by any means lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or acts that … cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.”

The defense motion to dismiss argues the law’s lack of specificity makes it impossible to know what actions qualify as criminal conduct. It says the law also offers no definition of “cause,” opening the way for prosecutors to link the signing of a gun-license application to a shooting years later.

The motion adds that, until Crimo Jr., “Illinois has never prosecuted an individual for signing a truthful affidavit under oath.”

Judge Strickland sounded skeptical about defense arguments that the law needed to spell out in greater detail what kinds of actions constitute reckless conduct and whether that applies to a parent signing a gun application so many years prior to a mass shooting.

“There is no way the Legislature can codify human behavior and codify every way you can be reckless,” said Strickland, who told attorneys at the outset that any questions or statements he made shouldn’t suggests he’s already decided the issue.

In arguing the law was too vague and imprecise, Gomez noted it lists conduct that leads to permanent bodily harm or disfigurement — but doesn’t say anything about conduct leading to death.

“Would not death be, at a minimum, permanent disfigurement?” Strickland asked. Gomez agreed that could be an interpretation but said the fact legislators left it out suggested they didn’t intend for it to be used as prosecutors applied it to Crimo Jr.

Attorneys for the state responded that the law’s wording didn’t stand out as vague and that it does not open the way for all forms of conduct to be charged — just “reckless” conduct. Whether conduct was reckless and whether an gun-license affidavit was “truthful” should be up to a jury to decide, they argued.

A grand jury indicted the son last year on 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery, representing the seven people killed and dozens wounded in the attack. Potential evidence is voluminous in the son’s case and no trial date has been set. He has pleaded not guilty.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said after the father’s arrest that the accusations against him are based on sponsorship of his son’s application for a gun license in December 2019. Authorities say Crimo III tried to kill himself in April 2019 and in September 2019 was accused by a family member of making threats to “kill everyone.”

“Parents who help their kids get weapons of war are morally and legally responsible when those kids hurt others with those weapons,” Rinehart said at the time.

United States News

Associated Press

1 dead after shuttle bus crashes at a Honolulu cruise ship terminal

HONOLULU (AP) — One person died and multiple people were injured when a shuttle bus collided with pedestrians and concrete barriers at a Honolulu cruise ship terminal, authorities said Friday. The crash occurred when the shuttle bus driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake, Honolulu police said in statement. The driver had dropped off […]

3 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

3 hours ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Officer who fatally shot Kawaski Trawick 5 years ago won’t be disciplined, police commissioner says

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kawaski Trawick inside his Bronx apartment five years ago will not face internal discipline, the city’s police commissioner, Edward Caban, announced Friday. In a statement, Caban said the officers, Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, “acted within the law” in […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Dallas doctor convicted of tampering with IV bags linked to co-worker’s death and other emergencies

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas anesthesiologist was convicted Friday for injecting a nerve-blocking agent and other drugs into bags of intravenous fluid at a surgical center where he worked, which led to the death of a co-worker and caused cardiac emergencies for several patients, federal prosecutors said. A jury convicted Raynaldo Riviera Ortiz Jr., 60, […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Maine governor signs bill restricting paramilitary training in response to neo-Nazi’s plan

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill to restrict paramilitary training in Maine in response to a neo-Nazi who wanted to create a training center for a “blood tribe” was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Friday. The law, which the governor signed without public comment, allows the attorney general to file for […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Father charged with helping suspect in July 4 shooting obtain gun license asks judge to toss case