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The father of the alleged Illinois Fourth of July parade shooter turned himself in Wednesday to begin a jail sentence in connection with the 2022 massacre, and was admonished by a judge for wearing a shirt that read “I’m A Political Pawn.”
Robert Crimo Jr. began a 60-day jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct last week for sponsoring his underage son Robert Crimo IlI’s firearm application in 2019, even though the teen had recently threatened to unleash deadly violence.
The younger Crimo, now 22, is facing charges of 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery after he allegedly slaughtered seven people and injured 48 when he opened fire at a parade in Highland Park, Ill. with a high-powered rifle.
Crimo Jr. arrived at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan wearing a white t-shirt emblazoned with the “Political Pawn” statement on the front in black letters and “LAWS, FACTS, REALITY” on the back, in violation of a court decorum order for the case.
The bald, bespectacled, heavyset man turned his shirt inside out before entering court, but Judge George Strickland threatened to hold him in contempt of court if there were any further violations, his lawyer George Gomez said. Gomez said he did not know the meaning of his client’s eyebrow-raising attire.
Strickland, on Nov. 6., had sentenced Crimo Jr. to 60 days in jail, two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
“Mr. Crimo has every constitutional right to remain silent. Now, he has spoken and instead of taking any responsibility, he has shown unbelievable callousness,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said of the convict’s fashion choice.
“This callousness will follow him into the jail and beyond; it will follow him everywhere.”
Crimo Jr., who had once ran for mayor of the small leafy Chicago suburb depicted in films like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” and “Home Alone.” and lost to a gun control Democrat, was also ordered to surrender his gun license and ammunition and banned for sponsoring other underage gun applicants.
He had signed off on his then-19-year-old son’s firearm application even though a relative had recently filed a police report that warned the teen threatened to “kill everyone.” Crimo III was then able to legally purchase five guns before allegedly unleashing his indiscriminate wholesale slaughter.
“We’ve laid down a marker to other prosecutors, to other police in this country, to other parents, that they must be held accountable,” Rinehart said last week.
“He knew exactly how dangerous it was for this 19-year-old to have a weapon.”
Crimo III pleaded not guilty and is set be put on trial next month, although prosecutors say he admitted to the mass murder while being taken into custody in the aftermath of the massacre.
The suspect — an admirer of former President Donald Trump who released music under the moniker Awake the Rapper, had questioned the Holocaust and called for the genocide of black and Asian people online — also spent some of the final moments of 2022 making a jailhouse prank phone call to a New York Post reporter.