Robert Crimo III was led into the courtroom before Lake County Circuit Court Judge Victoria Rossetti, and remained quiet during a Wednesday, Jan. 10, case-management session. Seated at his defense table were the original public defenders, led by Anton Trzina, that were assigned to his case.
In mid-December, Crimo III had dismissed the attorneys in lieu of handling his own defense, and demanding a 14th Amendment right to a “speedy trial.” Rossetti questioned him repeatedly to make sure of his decision and set trial for next month. By Jan. 5, he changed his mind and requested legal representation.
“There is additional supplemental information and disclosures that need to be made, and we request to take the trial date off,” said Trzina. “We are requesting a trial date in February 2025.”
Trzina indicated that Rossetti’s original trial date was Feb. 24, 2025, before being changed. Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Dillon raised concerns.
“The prosecution has been working on presenting its case with the original February trial date,” he said. “The state is seeking a date that is sooner than next year.”
While Dillon sought an April date for the case to be heard, Rossetti said, “We will set a trial date for some time in September or October, this year.”
Rossetti promptly continued the matter until Feb. 21, when a trial date can be set. Pending arguments and disclosures will also be made at the rescheduled hearing.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart was also present, and delivered the opening statement.
Crimo III is charged with 117 felony counts, including 21 counts of first-degree murder stemming from his alleged actions on July 4, 2022.
He has been held in the Lake County Jail, since that time, without bond. As his own pro se attorney, Rossetti warned Crimo III that he “would receive no special privileges in preparing his defense,” while incarcerated.
One issue facing his defense team is obtaining all pertinent documents, videos, witness statements, audio recordings, and law enforcement agency records, as part of the disclosure law, from the prosecution. Trzina and the public defender team were reappointed, due to their familiarity with the case.
Rossetti has also made no decision on the use of a pool camera live-feed coverage of the trial. Part of the consideration encompasses witnesses that do not wish to be televised or have their testimony broadcast.
The state’s attorney’s office and the public defense attorneys made no statements following the Wednesday proceeding.