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News

Cunningham's sentencing date in son's death to be set in March, judge says

The Crystal Lake mother who pleaded guilty in December to killing her 5-year-old son, AJ Freund, was photographed in court for the first time Thursday.

The case of 36-year-old JoAnn Cunningham was the third approved for extended media coverage that allows for cameras in the courtroom. Reporters video recorded and photographed AJ's father, 60-year-old Andrew Freund Sr., on Jan. 14.

Cunningham's attorney, McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Richard Behof, said Thursday that he hadn't yet discussed with Cunningham each of psychological evaluations that were previously ordered for her.

The case was continued to March 19, at which time a date could be set for sentencing, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt said.

Both Freund and Cunningham remained at the McHenry County Jail Thursday. Freund's bond is set at $5 million. Cunningham's bond was revoked after she entered a blind guilty plea Dec. 5 to a single count of first-degree murder in connection with AJ's death.

Prosecutors have said they plan to ask for the maximum 60-year prison sentence, meaning Cunningham wouldn't be eligible for release until she was 96 years old.

Cunningham and Freund were arrested April 24 after Freund allegedly led officers to a shallow grave were police say the father buried his son days earlier.

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