Defense seeks psychological evaluation for AJ's father

  • Andrew Freund

    Andrew Freund

  • AJ Freund

    AJ Freund

  • JoAnn Cunningham

    JoAnn Cunningham

 
 
Updated 5/7/2019 6:45 PM

A psychological evaluation is being sought for Andrew Freund Sr., the Crystal Lake man charged in the slaying of his 5-year old son, AJ.

Freund's court-appointed attorney, Henry Sugden, filed a motion Monday seeking the exam, citing "concerns regarding the defendant's current psychological ability to recall and assist in his defense."

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The request is expected to be addressed Friday before McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Robert Wilbrandt. Depending on the results, it could be the first step toward a petition to have Freund declared mentally unfit to stand trial.

Sugden declined to get more specific Tuesday, but noted Freund, 60, has a history of drug abuse.

"In a case of this magnitude, it's always good to know your client is running on all cylinders," he said.

Sugden also is seeking a gag order in the high-profile case.

"The judge can order that without either party, but it appears we're all in agreement," Sugden said of prosecutors' stance on a potential gag order. "How (the judge) carries it out is up to him."

Freund and AJ's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, 36, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery and failure to report a missing child or child death. Freund, who is accused of burying his son's body in a shallow grave near Woodstock, also is charged with concealing AJ's death.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Freund and Cunningham are in custody at the McHenry County jail on bail of $5 million each. Both are scheduled back in court Friday.

Cunningham appeared briefly Tuesday morning in Wilbrandt's courtroom. In that proceeding, Assistant McHenry County Public Defender Rick Behof informed the court he wanted to file a motion, but did not disclose the type or nature in open court. Wilbrandt called a recess and the parties had a private discussion before returning to court 15 minutes later and not raising the matter again.

Court officials said records of Tuesday's proceedings would be sealed.

Authorities say AJ was killed Monday, April 15, then reported missing by Freund three days later. The report triggered extensive searches by authorities before AJ's parents were charged and his body recovered April 24.

According to court records, AJ was forced to endure a cold shower and then beaten to death.

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