SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — An advocacy group rallied at the Illinois State Capitol on Thursday to bring awareness to children who died of abuse despite the involvement of social services.
The “Roar for AJ” group was formed in honor of 5-year-old A.J. Freund, who was beaten to death by his parents in McHenry County three years ago, even though his case was being monitored by the Department of Children and Family Services.
Meanwhile, AJ’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, has asked the court to reconsider her conviction and 35-year-prison sentence, saying she was suffering from postpartum depression and was seeing and hearing “demons.”
It is not clear if Cunningham wants a lighter sentence or a new trial.
Andrew Freund, Sr. also pleaded guilty in the child’s death.
If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.