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Illinois parents plead not guilty in son’s beating death

JoAnn Cunningham, Andrew "AJ" Freund, Andrew Freund Sr. (PHOTO: WGN)

WOODSTOCK, Ill. — An Illinois mother and father have pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the beating death of their 5-year-old son.

JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. of Crystal Lake appeared in McHenry County court Friday, the day after a 30-page grand jury indictment was handed down in the case.

Police found Andrew “AJ” Freund’s body last month in a shallow grave, nine days after authorities say he was beaten to death and a week after his parents reported him missing .

McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt granted a defense request for a psychological exam of Freund. The judge also said a gag order request from both parents’ attorneys was too broad.

Court records show the parents forced AJ to take a cold shower as punishment for lying about soiling his underwear.

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