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Father of Highland Park gunman pleads not guilty to felony charges

The father of the accused gunman in the Highland Park July 4th parade massacre pleaded not guilty on Thursday to felony charges, CBS News Chicago reported. Robert Crimo Jr.'s guilty plea comes one day after a grand jury indicted him on seven counts of reckless conduct for each of the seven people who were killed in the massacre. Each count carries a three-year prison term.

"Parents who help their kids get weapons of war are morally and legally responsible when those kids hurt others with those weapons," Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart told CBS News in a statement. 

Prosecutors have said he helped his son, Robert Crimo III, to obtain a gun license years before the Highland Park shooting, even though the then-19-year-old had threatened violence. A grand jury indicted Robert "Bobby" Crimo III 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 on a beloved holiday event in Highland Park.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart has said the accusations against the father are based on his sponsorship of his son's application for a gun license in December 2019. In Illinois, 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds may only obtain a Firearm Owner's Identification card with parental sponsorship, CBS Chicago reports.

Even though it is relatively rare for parents to face charges for their children's actions in mass shootings, prosecutors have filed charges in high-profile cases across the United States. The parents of accused Oxford, Michigan, school shooter Ethan Crumbley are facing multiple involuntary manslaughter charges for buying him a gun before he allegedly killed four students. The father of Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking was found guilty of returning a gun to his son, reported WSMV, who then killed four people in the Nashville Tennesse restaurant. 

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