For Immediate Release
Communications Manager Lee Filas
Attorney Mary Cole Calls Out Rinehart Regarding Crimo, Jr. Plea Deal
Lake County State's Attorney Candidate Mary Cole is calling out Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart for accepting a misdemeanor plea deal with the father of the Highland Park shooter Monday instead of taking the felony case to trial.
Rinehart held a widely attended press conference in December 2022 to announce he had filed felony charges of reckless conduct resulting in bodily harm against Robert Crimo Jr. the father of Robert Crimo I who is accused of killing 7 and wounding 48 others in Highland Park on July 4, 2022. fI found guilty of those felony charges, Robert Crimo J.r could have been sentenced to up to three years in prison. But Monday, Rinehart accepteda plea deal of misdemeanor reckless conduct charges that put Robert Crimo Jr. on probation for two years and in Lake County jail for 6 0days.
"If he ethically had probable cause to prove Mr. Crimo was guilty of felony reckless conduct like he charged, he should have been a prosecutor and taken the case to trial," Cole said. "And, if he was concerned his probable cause wasn't strong enough, he should have only charged Mr. Crimo with misdemeanors in the first place."
Cole said there is no doubt that Robert Crimo, Jr., criminally committed reckless conduct when signing an affidavit to help Robert Crimo Il obtain a Firearm Owner Identification Card in December of 2019. That decision kicked off the events that tragically led to the Highland Park mass shooting that left seven people dead and 48 others wounded in July, 2022.
"If he called that news conference to announce he filed felony charges, but never had probable cause to do so, he didn't just violate his oath of office but also used this tragedy for his own political gain, so shame on him," Cole said. "But, if he had probable cause that a felony was committed then chose to accept the plea deal instead, he's exactly what the entire county knows he is - a defense attorney, not a prosecutor."
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