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Father of Murdered Child AJ Freund in ‘Pretty Serious Negotiations’ Since Mother Pleaded Guilty

Andrew Freund Sr.

An attorney for Illinois defendant Andrew Freund Sr. said in a hearing Thursday that he was in “pretty serious negotiations” with prosecutors since JoAnn Cunningham pleaded guilty in December to murdering son Andrew “AJ” Freund Jr., 5, according to CBS Chicago.

Is this the beginning of the end of the case? Special Public Defender Henry Sugden reportedly said back in October 2019 that he was working on a possible plea deal. It has been months since then, but then again, a lot has changed. Cunningham pleaded guilty to killing her and Freund Sr.’s son AJ. In June, McHenry County prosecutors shared information from Cunningham’s psych evaluation which was possibly exculpatory for Freund Sr.

Authorities said that the father told them that on April 14, 2019, Cunningham hit AJ, and forced him to take a cold shower to make him admit to soiling his underwear. She would go as far as to put the spray nozzle in the child’s face, according to this account. Freund Sr. allegedly said his son would sometimes lose balance and fall in the tub.

AJ was found dead in bed the next day, according to this story. His father allegedly moved the body from their Crystal Lake home, and buried the body in a shallow grave about seven miles away in the town of Woodstock, Illinois. Freund Sr. called 911 on April 18, and feigned ignorance about his son’s whereabouts, authorities said.

Cunningham was sentenced on July 17 to 35 years in prison on a charge of first-degree murder. She blamed drugs and a miserable life. A clinical psychologist determined she exhibited anti-social and narcissistic traits, as well as anxiety and depression.

[Mugshot via Crystal Lake Police Department]

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