News - McHenry County

Medical records sought in AJ Freund’s murder case

Prayer cards for AJ Freund, 5, sit on a table next to the visitor guestbook May 3 at Davenport Funeral Home in Crystal Lake. A McHenry County judge granted prosecutors’ motions Wednesday seeking AJ's past medical records.

A McHenry County judge granted prosecutors’ motions Wednesday seeking past medical records of a 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy whose parents are accused of killing him in April.

Separately, Andrew Freund, 60, and JoAnn Cunningham, 36, each of whom is charged with murder in the death of their son, AJ Freund, and who are being held in the McHenry County Jail on a $5 million bond each, appeared in front of Judge Robert Wilbrandt.

Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese issued subpoenas for medical records from Northwestern Medicine – Centegra Physician Care in Woodstock from Oct. 14, 2013, the date of AJ’s birth.

The child, who was born with opioids in his system and was in foster care for the first 13 months of his life, was the focus of many police and child welfare visits at the family’s home at 94 Dole Ave. before his death.

Prosecutors also are seeking medical records pertaining to a Dec. 18 visit to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, about four months before the child was killed, wrapped in plastic and buried in a Woodstock field.

The child “received treatment throughout his life and an exam by [doctors],” according to the motions for issuance of the subpoena.

The “state is seeking medical and/or treatment records regarding any treatment of [AJ],” the motions state.

Prosecutors also issued a motion for protective orders of all medical records. This is to ensure that parties “will not use or disclose the medical records for any purpose other than the pending litigation or proceeding,” the motions state.

Henry Sugden, the father’s attorney, did not object to the motions; Cunningham’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos, did.

Prosecutors also filed a separate motion seeking any and all medical records related to Cunningham while she was in the custody of the jail. At the time, she was about seven months pregnant. Days after her arrest, she was taken to a local hospital. The details of this incident are unknown, prosecutors said.

Cunningham gave birth to a girl May 31.

Prosecutors noted that although typically physicians and surgeons are prohibited from disclosing such information, in this circumstance where there is a pending homicide case, an exception exists.

“Since the people are unaware of the specifics contained in the medical records, it is difficult to speculate what may relate directly to ... the homicide … any information regarding the defendant’s drug use (illicit or prescription) could relate directly to the fact or immediate circumstances of the homicide as it could go to motive, ability to recall and/or indifference to the well-being of her children.”

The motion continues that further evidence of Cunningham’s drug use before AJ’s death “could be relevant as part of the narrative describing the event leading to” Cunningham’s arrest.

Mourelatos objected to this issuance of subpoenas and filed a motion Wednesday to quash stating in part that this is “overly broad, a violation of privacy and a fishing expedition by the state.”

The matter will be argued Aug. 29. Freund is set to appear at a status hearing Aug. 28.

Wilbrandt granted each parent two phone calls.

Amanda Marrazzo

Amanda Marrazzo is a staff reporter for Shaw Media who has written stories on just about every topic in the Northwest Suburbs including McHenry County for nearly 20 years.