A.J. Freund’s Parents Plead Not Guilty to Murdering 5-Year-Old Son

The parents of A.J. Freund, the 5-year-old Illinois boy whose body was found last month in the woods, pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple charges, including murdering their son. JoAnn Cunningham, 36, and Andrew Freund Sr., 60, entered their not guilty pleas at McHenry County court one day after they were indicted by a grand jury on 20 charges each. The charges include three counts of murder and one count of concealing a death for the April 15 slaying of their son, whom they reported missing a week before authorities discovered his body wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave about seven miles away from his Crystal Lake home.

During the hearing, the parents also requested a jury trial and a judge granted a motion seeking a psychological evaluation. Cunningham and Freund were arrested on April 24, hours after officers found Andrew’s body. An autopsy found Andrew died as a result of “craniocerebral trauma” caused by “multiple blunt force injuries.” Police said he was forced to stand in a cold shower for 20 minutes and then beaten to death as punishment for urinating in his underwear.