Crime & Courts

Father of AJ Freund could accept plea deal Friday, his attorney says

The father of 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy, Andrew “AJ” Freund, who was killed last year in his home then buried in a shallow grave, could accept a plea deal Friday on charges related to the boy’s death, his attorney Henry “Hank” Sugden said Tuesday.

Andrew Freund, 61, is charged in a 41-count bill of indictment including multiple counts of murder, aggravated battery to a child, aggravated domestic battery, concealment of a homicide, failure to report a child’s death, obstruction of justice through the destruction of evidence, and unlawful restraint, according to the McHenry County indictment.

Freund is scheduled for a status Wednesday where a hearing could be scheduled for Friday afternoon when he could accept a plea deal, Sugden said.

Should the case proceed to trial, Freund could face life in prison if convicted.

In December, the child’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, 37, pleaded guilty to beating the boy and making him stand in a cold shower before putting him to bed wet, cold and naked on April 15, 2019. Freund made a fake 911 call about three days later launching about a weeklong, community-wide search.

Freund led authorities on April 24 to a shallow grave in Woodstock where the child's remains were found wrapped in plastic.

The child, who authorities said had endured years of physical abuse at the hands of his mother, died from head trauma due to multiple blunt force injuries, according to the McHenry County coroner.

Cunningham is serving 35 years in prison. She is currently housed at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.

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