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News / Nation & World

Man accused of killing 7 at suburban Chicago July 4 parade might change not-guilty plea

By Associated Press
Published: June 21, 2024, 10:03am

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A man accused of killing seven people and injuring dozens more at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago in 2022 will return to court next week for a possible change in his plea of not guilty, a prosecutor said Friday.

Robert Crimo III was scheduled to face trial next February on a raft of charges, including murder and attempted murder, for the shooting in Highland Park nearly two years ago.

“The case will be up on June 26 for a possible change of plea. We have been updating and supporting the victims as the situation has been developing,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.

A message seeking comment from the public defender’s office, which is defending Crimo, wasn’t immediately returned.

Authorities have said Crimo, 23, confessed to police in the days after he opened fire from a rooftop in Highland Park, terrifying parade participants and spectators.

Crimo would face a mandatory sentence of life without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Separately, his father, Robert Crimo Jr., pleaded guilty last year to seven misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct.

In 2019, at age 19, Crimo III was too young to seek his own gun license, but he could apply with the sponsorship of a parent or guardian. His father agreed, even though a relative reported to police that Crimo III had a collection of knives and had threatened to “kill everyone.”