Crime & Courts

Accused murderer, father of slain Crystal Lake boy fit to stand trial

Andrew Freund Sr.
Andrew Freund Sr.

The father accused of killing and burying 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund is psychologically fit to stand trial, his attorney said Tuesday.

Special Public Defender Henry Sugden had previously asked to have 60-year-old Andrew Freund Sr. evaluated to gauge the accused murderer and former attorney’s psychological well-being. Sugden said the evaluation was just precautionary and wasn’t an indication that Freund would enter an insanity plea.

Police in April arrested Freund and AJ’s mother, 36-year-old JoAnn Cunningham, in connection with the boy’s death. Both parents have been charged with first-degree murder among other offenses.

AJ’s name and photograph first circulated throughout the county April 18, when Freund called 911 to report the boy missing from the bedroom of his Crystal Lake home.

Days later, Freund led officers to the Woodstock-area site where he allegedly buried AJ’s body in a shallow grave, police records show. Police now believe the young boy actually died April 15, according to a criminal complaint that police filed in McHenry County court after the parents’ arrests.

Both parents remained at the county jail Tuesday evening on $5 million bonds each. Freund and Cunningham have pleaded not guilty to all charges and are expected back in court Aug. 28 and 29, respectively.

Prosecutors continue to compile a list of potential witnesses and evidence that could make their way to trial. Coroner’s office records, recorded interviews, and receipts from local drug stores and gas stations were among a long list of subpoenaed items that prosecutors filed in McHenry County court earlier this month.

Hearings are ongoing in two separate juvenile matters tied to the custody of Cunningham’s younger son and daughter, who are in the custody of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services. Attorneys are waiting on the results of a paternity test to confirm who is the father of Cunningham’s youngest child, born May 31.

The results will determine who will be included in future conversations about the child’s placement. McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office also petitioned to revoke Cunningham and Freund’s parental rights over the young boy. A separate petition would need to be filed to terminate Cunningham’s parental rights over her daughter.

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