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Crime & Courts

Attorney representing AJ Freund's father hopes to resolve case

The attorney who represents a Crystal Lake father accused of killing and burying his 5-year-old son is working toward resolving the case with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, the attorney said Thursday.

Special Public Defender Henry Sugden met privately Thursday with the judge and prosecutor assigned to 60-year-old Andrew Freund Sr.’s case. Freund and his ex-girlfriend, JoAnn Cunningham, each are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the untimely death of their son, AJ Freund. They additionally face charges of aggravated battery to a child, failure to report the death of a child, aggravated domestic battery and concealing a body, among others.

Officials have said Freund and Cunningham forced AJ into a cold shower and beat him to death days before they falsely reported him missing April 18.

About a week later, Freund allegedly led officers to the shallow grave where he buried the young boy, court records show. Both Freund and Cunningham remained at the McHenry County Jail on Thursday, each on $5 million bond.

Prosecutors have not offered Freund a plea deal, said Randi Freese, chief of the the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office’s criminal division. Sugden, however, said both sides would like to see the matter resolved.

During the closed-door meeting, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt was allowed to learn information about Freund’s case that the judge might otherwise not be privy to. Freund was not present for the meeting, which is standard for private, attorney-judge conferences.

Freund’s next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the McHenry County courthouse. It’s unlikely the case will be resolved at that time, Sugden said.

“It won’t be done Tuesday, but we’ll have an idea of where we’re going,” Sugden said.

Cunningham is due in court Jan. 10 for a status hearing.

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