Report deems AJ's father mentally fit to stand trial

  • Andrew Freund

    Andrew Freund

  • AJ Freund

    AJ Freund

  • JoAnn Cunningham

    JoAnn Cunningham

 
 
Updated 7/17/2019 8:00 PM

Andrew Freund is mentally fit to stand trial on murder and other charges stemming from the death in April of his 5-year-old son, AJ, a psychological report shows.

Court-appointed special public defender Henry Sugden requested the exam for the Crystal Lake man in May, citing "concerns regarding the defendant's current psychological ability to recall and assist in his defense."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sugden said after a brief court hearing Tuesday that the examiner found Freund mentally competent to stand trial. Under state law, a person is fit if he or she can understand the nature of the charges and assist in a legal defense.

"I have not brought up a competency issue," Sugden added.

Freund and the boy's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and failure to report a missing child or child death. Freund also is charged with concealing the boy's death. Both remain jailed on $5 million bail.

Authorities said AJ was killed Monday, April 15, and reported missing from the couple's Crystal Lake home by Freund three days later, triggering extensive searches.

Freund and Cunningham were charged April 24 after AJ's body was recovered from a shallow grave near Woodstock. According to court records, AJ was forced to endure a cold shower and then beaten to death.

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Court documents show prosecutors have compiled an extensive amount of information as well as a list of 39 potential witnesses, which has been turned over to the defense as part of the ongoing preparation for trial.

The information includes FBI interviews and reports; police reports and other records; case notes and search warrants; Facebook posts and conversations, as well as a letter to Facebook for emergency disclosure; receipts and videos from local stores; a search warrant for Cunningham's phone; and results of a polygraph test.

On Tuesday, prosecutors also provided copies of photos obtained from the McHenry County coroner's office and a lab report. Particulars of what the interviews or reports contain are sealed under court order.

Freund's next court appearance in the criminal case is scheduled for Aug. 28. Cunningham's is scheduled for Aug. 29. Both also are set to appear in court Aug. 12 for a hearing concerning ongoing efforts to determine the paternity of a girl Cunningham gave birth to while in custody May 31, as well as a status hearing on the placement of AJ's younger brother.

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