CHICAGO (CBS) — The parents of 5-year-old A.J. Freund pleaded not guilty Friday, after they were formally indicted on a combined 61 charges of murder, aggravated battery, and concealing a homicide.
Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham appeared in court on Friday morning. Attorneys for Freund Sr. asked for a psychological evaluation due to an opioid addiction, and prosecutors did not fight that request.
Freund faces a total of 41 counts; Cunningham faces 20. Both requested a jury trial.
Freund Sr.’s defense attorney cited concerns about Freund Sr.’s ability to assist in his defense. The defense also is seeking a gag order barring any further statements on the case outside of court.
Cunningham and Freund Sr. are accused of killing A.J. more than a week before his body was found on April 24.
Police and prosecutors have said A.J.’s parents forced him into a cold shower as punishment for soiling his clothes, and severely beat on April 15. His father later found him dead in his bed at their home in Crystal Lake, and buried him in a shallow grave. A.J.’s parents falsely reported him missing three days later.
Police found A.J.’s body wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave in Woodstock on April 24, and charged both of his parents with murder.