Alleged Highland Park mass shooter Robert Crimo III says he wants his public defenders back, about a month after he insisted on representing himself at trial.
At a brief hearing Friday, Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti reappointed his legal team, and set a hearing for next week so Crimo could have time to meet with his lawyers.
Crimo did not say what prompted his change of heart, just as he did not say last month what made him decide to represent himself. The Lake County Public Defender’s Office declined to comment after the hearing.
The judge spent considerable time in December, without success, attempting to dissuade Crimo from acting as his own attorney. After taking the bench Friday, Rossetti asked right away if Crimo still wanted to represent himself.
“I want to go back to the public defenders,” he told the judge.
The public defender’s office has represented Crimo since his arrest on July 4, 2022.
He is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and dozens of other felonies for allegedly opening fire from a downtown rooftop on the crowd gathered for the Independence Day parade in Highland Park.
Authorities said Crimo disguised himself as a woman to initially escape during the ensuing chaos. He was arrested later that day, and has been in the Lake County jail since.
The return of his attorneys could mean the February trial date that had been set last month is now off the table. In December, the judge said that attorneys and the court had agreed to a trial date in February 2025. However, after Crimo said he wanted to represent himself, he asked for a trial date next month.
Crimo will be back in court Wednesday for a case management conference.
State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart issued a statement after the hearing that said, “Our victim specialists have been in constant communication with the victims and their families throughout the case and will continue to do so.
“We anticipate a discussion of the trial date on the next court date, January 10, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., when all parties are present,” he said. “Our office has no comment on the defendant’s legal representation.”