After pleading guilty to killing her 5-year-old son, more information about mom JoAnn Cunningham‘s son’s last days are coming to light. As Mamas Uncut previously reported, Andrew “A.J.” Freund was found in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic, on April 24, 2019.
At first, Cunningham maintained her innocence, refusing to truthfully cooperate with authorities. It wasn’t until months later, in January 2020, that Cunningham pleaded guilty to murdering her own son. It was A.J.’s father, Andrew Freund, Sr., who initially called 911 to report the 5-year-old missing from the family home.
Now, seven months later, the mom has been sentenced for A.J.’s murder. According to People, Cunningham was sentenced to 35 years.
One of their final conversations has also been revealed. In an audio recording of a conversation that A.J. and Cunningham’s had two weeks before his death, Cunningham could be heard asking her son why he wanted “bad people” to hurt her.
“Why do you want those bad people to hurt me?,” Cunningham can be heard asking her young son, People reports. “So I don’t ever see you again,” A.J. explained.
“There’s no way we could get in trouble. Who would you go tell on us to get us in trouble? What would you do? What is your grand plan? How would you get us in trouble? With who? With what people?” Cunningham asked her son. “By bad people, really bad people,” A.J. replied.
Also discovered on Cunningham’s cell phone was a video taken of A.J. naked and badly beaten on a mattress. It was a video Cunningham sent to Freund on April 24.
According to People, doctors have already documented the signs of abuse A.J. exhibited when this particular conversation took place. The day before A.J. passed away, Cunningham beat him for soiling his pants and then placed him in a cold shower. The next morning he never woke up.
Three days after his death, he was reported missing. Six days after that, he was discovered in the shallow grave. Freund was also charged in his death but has pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree murder, aggravated battery, failure to report a child missing, and concealment of a homicide. He is still awaiting a trial.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.