Crystal Lake, Illinois parents, Andrew Freund Sr and JoAnn Cunningham plead not guilty to the murder of their 5 year old son, AJ. Beaten to death for wetting his bed.
An Illinois couple accused of killing their 5-year-old son pleaded not guilty to murder charges Friday.
Andrew Freund Sr., 60, and JoAnn Cunningham, 36, of Crystal Lake appeared in a McHenry County courtroom after prosecutors filed a 30-page grand-jury indictment in the case Thursday, the Northwest Herald reported.
The parents’ plea follows prosecutor accusations the couple set on their son after the boy lying about soiling his underwear.
Court records show Freund admitting to a detective that he and Cunningham forcing their son Andrew ‘AJ’ Freund to stay in a cold shower for 20 minutes before being sent to bed ‘cold, wet and naked.’ The boy was later found unresponsive in bed. The father told police he put the boy’s body in a large plastic container inside the family’s Crystal Lake home April 15.
Freund later buried AJ’s body near electric utility towers near Woodstock, about 7 miles from the family’s home, according to McHenry County Sheriff’s Detective Edwin Maldonado.
Freund then led police to the boy’s body — wrapped in plastic and covered with straw, in a shallow grave — April 24, six days after the couple reported him missing and some nine days after he died, according to a filed affidavit.
Both Freund and Cunningham requested trials by jury, and a judge approved a request for Freund to be evaluated by a psychologist.
Andrew Freund Sr.and JoAnn Cunningham plead not guilty: Cite ‘media bias’.
Thursday’s indictment alleges that Freund and Cunningham beat AJ, committing ‘great bodily harm.’ – leading to the child’s death. The charges also state ‘the murder was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty.’
A lawyer for Freund said his client cannot get a fair trial because he’s been ‘tried in the press,’ but a judge didn’t rule on the matter, saying the claim was ‘too broad,’ according to the newspaper.
Freund and Cunningham, who both remain held on $5 million bonds, are scheduled to return to court June 18.
The parents face life in jail if convicted.
BREAKING: Both parents of missing Crystal Lake 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund have been charged with five counts murder EACH in his death.
— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) April 24, 2019