Father in court Thursday in death of 5-year-old AJ Freund

Chicago News

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — A father from Crystal Lake appeared in court Thursday morning in the death of his 5-year-old son, AJ Freund.

The boy’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., pleaded not guilty and is still awaiting trial for murder.

Freund Sr. appeared briefly before the judge Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

Earlier this month, AJ’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for beating him to death in April of 2019. The judge said she will have to serve 100% of her sentence. Afterward, she will need to serve an additional three years of mandatory supervised released.

The couple originally claimed their son fell in the shower and died. They finally led police to the 5-year-old’s body in a shallow grave. This was after police confronted Freund Sr. with cell phone video showing the child being beaten.

An autopsy revealed that the boy had been struck multiple times and died from blunt force trauma.


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