A.J. Freund: Mom accused of killing 5-year-old son pleads guilty

An Illinois woman accused of killing her 5-year-old son Andrew “A.J.” Freund has pleaded guilty to his death and faces 20 to 60 years in prison when she is sentenced early next year, NBC Chicago reported.

JoAnn Cunningham, 36, previously pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Andrew Freund Sr. and Cunningham are accused of killing A.J. on April 15, after forcing him to stay in a cold shower for “an extended period of time” and beating him to death.

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Cunningham had been charged with five counts of murder, four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing or child death. She pleaded guilty to a single count of first degree murder, and the other charges were dropped. When she is sentence, the plea deal offers no opportunity for parole.

Freund Sr. has been charged with five counts of murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated domestic battery, two counts of concealment of homicidal death and one count of failure to report a missing or child death.

Investigators found A.J.’s lifeless body on rural land close to Gayle Drive and Dean Street in Woodstock, Illinois. The little boy was found wrapped in plastic and placed in a shallow grave.

The discovery came on April 25, exactly one week after Freund Sr. reported his son missing on April 18. The man called 911 and told the dispatcher that he couldn’t find A.J., and explained the last time he saw him was the previous night, in their home off of Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake.

Andrew Freund Sr and JoAnn Cunningham [Police Handout]

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[Feature Photo: A.J. Freund/Handout]