Watch CBS News

JoAnn Cunningham To Learn Sentence Today In Murder Of Her Son, A.J. Freund

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Sentencing continues Friday afternoon for JoAann Cunningham, after disturbing details were revealed in court, as McHenry County prosecutors push for the maximum 60-year sentence for killing her son, A.J. Freund.

During Cunningham's sentencing hearing on Thursday, she asked the judge for forgiveness, saying she loved A.J., the 5-year-old son she admitted killing.

"I would give my life to have A.J. back," Cunningham said in court. "This is something I will never escape from. I am impacted forever."

But when A.J. went missing in April 2019, Cunningham told Crystal Lake detectives she had nothing to do with his disappearance. That turned out to be a lie.

RELATED: Phone Call Between JoAnn Cunningham And CBS 2's Brad Edwards Used In Sentencing Hearing

A.J.'s father, Andrew Freund, ultimately led police to the boy's shallow grave. That was just some of the evidence and testimony presented at Cunningham's sentencing hearing on Thursday.

She switched her murder plea from not guilty to guilty in December.

Prosecutors also played video and audio from Cunningham's cell phone. One recording was her berating AJ about going to the bathroom a month before she killed him.

"Do you swear on this family, yes or no?" Cunningham can be heard saying.

"Um, I do," A.J. says.

"Ok, awesome," Cunningham says. "What is this? What are those?"

"Um, that's from the paper towel thing," A.J. says.

"This is from, no, this is, that's from piss!" Cunningham says.

The judge is scheduled to rule on Cunningham's sentence at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

As for A.J.'s father, Andrew Freund, he has pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a jury trial. No bench trial date has been set.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.