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CLEVELAND (AP/WJW) — A Parma man indicted on an aggravated murder charge could now be sentenced to death in the fatal beating of his 5-year-old son in March if convicted.
Matthew Ponomarenko was initially indicted in April on a non-death penalty murder charge. Authorities say Ponomarenko called 911 to report he was hearing voices and had struck his son, Jax, with a baseball bat at their home in Parma.
Prosecutors said at the time they would consider seeking another indictment with death penalty specifications.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley confirmed to FOX 8 the grand jury indictment this week that added the death penalty.
“It is one of the most vicious attacks committed by a human being I have ever seen,” O’Malley said. “The fact that it was a father who did this to his young son is incomprehensible to me.”
The 32-year-old Ponomarenko remains jailed on a $5 million bond.