No deal reached yet in case against AJ's father
Andrew Freund Sr., charged with first-degree murder in the death of 5-year-old son AJ, appeared in court Tuesday as his defense lawyer said he continues to work toward a potential plea deal.
Tuesday's appearance follows what is known as a 402 conference held last week with McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt, county prosecutors and court-appointed defense attorney Henry Sugden. The conference was held to determine whether the charges "can be resolved by a plea of guilty," according to a document signed by Freund.
Sugden said no offers have been made or accepted, but both sides are working on a resolution.
"We're still talking," he said Tuesday.
Assistant McHenry County State's Attorney Randi Freese confirmed Tuesday that no offers of a plea deal have been made.
Besides three counts of first-degree murder, Freund Sr., 60, faces charges including aggravated battery, endangering the life or health of a child and concealment of death stemming from allegations AJ was beaten to death in April 15 at his Crystal Lake home. Freund reported the boy missing April 18, but after a massive search, authorities say, he admitted AJ was dead and led police to a shallow grave near Woodstock April 24.
AJ's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, 36, faces the same charges, with one exception: Freund Sr. also is charged with disorderly conduct for calling 911 to report AJ missing and generate an emergency response even though, authorities said, he knew the boy was dead.
Both have pleaded not guilty and remain jailed on $5 million bail each.
Freund is scheduled to return to court Nov. 8. Cunningham's next scheduled criminal court appearance is Jan. 10.