Crime & Courts

Father of AJ Freund's baby sister still in violation of probation, prosecutors say

Prosecutors are alleging for the second time that the man who fathered AJ Freund’s baby sister has failed to comply with probation.

Randi Freese, co-chief of the state’s attorney’s office’s criminal division, said in court Monday that 36-year-old Daniel Nowicki hasn’t been taking all his prescribed medications.

Nowicki’s attorney, William Bligh, in turn asked to modify the conditions of his client’s May 22 plea deal. In exchange for Nowicki’s guilty plea to a Dec. 18 battery charge, he was sentenced to two years of probation. As a condition of his sentence, Nowicki was forbidden to commit additional crimes and was required to take any doctor-prescribed medications.

Two of those medications, however – Vivitrol and Suboxone – had a bad reaction with one another and left Nowicki “incredibly sick,” Bligh said.

Both Vivitrol and Suboxone are used to treat addiction by blocking the brain’s opioid receptors, according to the medications’ websites.

Rather than revoking Nowicki’s probation and ordering a new sentence, McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge gave Bligh one week to submit an affidavit from Nowicki’s doctor, explaining the possible side effects associated with each of the medications.

Nowicki is due back in court Sept. 5, at which point the judge could still choose to revoke the probation sentence.

“We have great concern about the defendant’s safety and his use of narcotics,” Freese said Monday.

Prosecutors filed their first petition to revoke Nowicki’s probation in June, after he tested positive for cocaine and failed to take all his prescribed medication.

As a result, Nowicki attended an in-patient treatment program in Waukegan and recently was released.

Earlier this month, a DNA test determined that Nowicki is the father of slain Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund’s younger sister.

AJ’s mother and accused child killer JoAnn Cunningham gave birth to the baby girl on May 31. The juvenile girl and AJ’s younger brother are both in the care of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services while Cunningham and AJ’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., await trial on first-degree murder charges.

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