AJ Freund

Father of AJ Freund to Appear in Court After Attorney Said Plea Deal Negotiations Underway

An Illinois father charged in the death of his 5-year-old son, AJ Freund, is expected to appear in court Friday, where his attorney said a plea deal could be announced.

Andrew Freund Sr. is scheduled to appear before a judge Friday afternoon, two days after his attorney and prosecutors told told the court negotiations were underway. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m.

During a hearing in McHenry County court last month, Judge Robert Wilbrandt set a Dec. 9 date for the murder trial of Freund Sr. in the death of his son, AJ Freund, whose body was found in a shallow grave near the family’s Crystal Lake home in April 2019, days after his parents reported him missing.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese, though, told Wilbrandt that the sides might be able to reach a deal before then.

“I believe we will be able to resolve this on Sept. 16,” Freese told the judge.

Freund's attorney, who said late last year that he was working on the plea deal, did not discuss any details about a possible agreement.

McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt set a tentative Dec. 9 trial date for the 61-year-old Freund.

During Wednesday's court hearing, however, both sides confirmed negotiations were still ongoing on a potential deal.

After a day of testimony in her sentencing hearing, JoAnn Cunningham stood before a judge and gave an emotional speech in which she said she misses AJ and her other children.

Freund is charged with first-degree murder. The boy’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder and was sentenced last month to 35 years in prison.

The two were charged after Freund led authorities to the boy's grave.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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