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Parents of slain 5-year-old AJ Freund plead not guilty

JoAnn Cunningham and her husband Andrew Freund Sr. are charged with first-degree murder in 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund's killing. | Crystal Lake Police Department

The parents of slain 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and other charges in connection with his death.

Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham through their public defenders entered the pleas in separate proceedings before Judge Robert Wilbrandt. Both are due back in McHenry County circuit court June 18.

Indictments against the pair were filed Thursday. Cunningham was charged with 20 counts involving the death of her son, including first-degree murder. Conviction on that charge carries a sentence of 20 to 60 years in prison but can be extended to natural life if the murder is found beyond a reasonable doubt to be accompanied by “exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty,” according to the indictment.

Read more at The Daily Herald.

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