A Illinois mother and father have pleaded not guilty of suing the death of their five-year-old son.
JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. of Crystal Lake appeared before the McHenry County court on Friday, the day after a 30-page indictment against the Grand Jury in the case.
The police found Andrew & # 39; AJ & # 39; Freund's body was buried in a shallow grave last month, nine days after the authorities said he was beaten to death and a week after his parents reported him missing in April.
JoAnn Cunningham [left] and Andrew Freund Sr. are accused of murdering Andrew & # 39; AJ & # 39; Accused of friend's death
The 5-year-old AJ friend from Crystal Lake, Illinois, was murdered and his body was found in a shallow grave on April 24
The police found his body in a shallow grave near his home town of Crystal Lake.
McHenry County's judge, Robert Wilbrandt, made a defense request for a psychological examination of Freund.
The judge also said that a gag order request from both parents' lawyers was too broad.
Court records show that parents forced AJ to take a cold shower as a punishment for lying about soiling his underwear.
Both Cunningham and friend appeared in court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravating the battery, providing false information, child risk, and other charges, the court said.
The police had been concerned about the living conditions in the house where AJ Freund lived with his parents and brother since at least September.
The police said the house was overcrowded, dirty, and in poor condition, with broken windows and a pervasive smell of feces.
Prayer cards for AJ Freund, a 5-year-old boy, are sitting on a table next to the Davenport Funeral Home guest book earlier this month. The opportunity to get past the body of AJ Freund's closed coffin gave a city the opportunity to meet and mourn the loss of a boy who became famous for his tragic death
A 2013 exterior of the family's Crystal Lake home
This picture shows animal droppings in the basement of the house
Total chaos: stacks of boxes and rubbish are shown in the basement above
Earlier this month, shocking photos revealed the dirty and unfortunate condition of AJ Freund's parents' home in Illinois in 2012 and 2013, just a few months before he was born.
Investigators say the Department of Child and Family Services has visited Freund house 17 times in the past five years.
During these visits, the authorities described the poor condition of the home, the apparent drug use by parents, who are "well-known and self-admitted former drug addicts," and the well-being of AJ and his four-year-old brother Parker.
Police said the house was in a "hoard-like condition" with garbage bags containing "wet garbage" in the basement and garbage area when they visited after reports of AJ disappeared.
Photos released earlier this month take a look at the Crystal Lake home that the parents owned in 2012 and 2013 and provide insight into the dire conditions the little AJ was likely to have grown up in.
The authorities say that their house was recently in a "hoard-like state" and garbage bags with "wet garbage" are stacked in the basement
The police photos of the house are disturbing and show rooms in a state of complete disorder with piles of clothes thrown over the dining table and couch
Pictures in the house in 2012 and 2013 show how the family lived in poor conditions in which a child could not be raised safely. This room shows a mattress on the floor, an unassembled cot and scattered furniture
The house's police photos are troubling and show rooms in a state of complete disorder with stacks of clothes thrown over the dining table and couch, stains on the floor, scattered furniture, and a mattress and crumpled sheet that was placed on the floor.
Photos in the couple's bathroom and kitchen show that tiles are missing on the floor. A photo shows dog droppings and mouse droppings on the floor near bedding.
The photos show that the house was a dangerous environment for a child's upbringing because furniture had sharp edges, animal droppings lay on the floor, peeling paint was found on the walls and ceiling, and piles of rubbish were rotting around the house.
Court records revealed how investigators investigated the terrible murder of A.J. cracked and how the parents were charged with his death.
The investigators showed AJ's father Andrew Freund a disturbing two-minute video that they had uncovered from Cunningham's phone.
In this video, AJ lies naked on a mattress and holds an ice pack in his face while being insulted by his mother for urinating on the bed.
In contrast to this report, AJ died of a blow to the head, according to an autopsy report.
Shocking photos of the couple's house from 2012 and 2013 show the poor conditions in which the family lived just a few months before AJ was born
When the police visited in 2012 and 2013, tiles were missing in the kitchen and bathroom of the house
Dog and animal droppings can be seen on bedding and towels on the floor in police photos from the couple's house, taken in 2012 and 2013
They originally lied and reported the missing child to the police on April 18.
According to an affidavit, friend Sr. AJ kept the body in a plastic bag in the basement of her house for days before burying the child in a field in Woodstock, Illinois.
Under increasing evidence, the couple admitted to murdering AJ on April 24.
After being confronted with the clip, friend Sr. said that the boy's mother had killed AJ and he confessed to burying AJ's body in a shallow grave afterwards.
He said the mother punished the boy for fouling himself by taking a cold shower for 20 minutes.
Friend Sr. then put AJ "cold, wet, and naked" in bed and said that Cunningham later went to check on him and found him dead.