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Sentencing Hearing Set For Thursday For JoAnn Cunningham, Accused Of Killing Son AJ Freund

CHICAGO (CBS) -- JoAnn Cunningham, the Crystal Lake mother accused of murdering her own son AJ Freund, appeared before a judge Tuesday.

It was the final hearing for Cunningham gets sentenced for 5-year-old AJ's murder on Thursday.

Cunningham pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in AJ's death.

Just seven months ago, she granted CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards the only in-house jail interview:

Edwards: "DCFS paints a horror show of what went on in that house. Was it a horror show, what was going on in that house in the end?"

Cunningham: "No, we were a good, loving family."

Edwards: "JoAnn, a lot of people are just going to have a hard time believing that."

Cunningham: "I'm sure they do, but I don't care what they think."

In the interview, Cunningham denied that she killed AJ.

The little boy's father, Andrew Freund Sr. is also charged.

AJ's disappearance gripped the nation when he was reported missing by his father on April 18, 2019. The senior Freund led investigators to AJ's body a week later. Buried in a shallow grave in a field in Woodstock, AJ was found to have died from blows to the head.

Cunningham faces 20 to 60 years in prison.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday on CBSN Chicago, we revisit Edwards' interview with Cunningham and several other bizarre moments in the case. Tune in for the special presentation, "The Murder of AJ Freund."


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