Parma man pleads not guilty to charges of beating, torturing son

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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A man accused of beating his 5-year-old son to death appeared in Cuyahoga County court Thursday.

Matthew Ponomarenko, 32, called 911 on March 25 and told dispatchers he had killed his son Jax.

Parma father, Matthew Ponomarenko, charged in murder of 5-year-old son (Photo via Cuyahoga County Jail)

“I just killed my son,” Ponomarenko, told the dispatcher.

Neighbors said they heard a commotion before police arrived on the scene that day.

Ponomarenko faces two counts of aggravated murder with a specification that the victim was under the age of 13.

He also faces two counts of endangering children, as the indictment states that there was evidence of “torture” and “reckless abuse.”

A new indictment added a death penalty specification.

He was arraigned on those charges Thursday.

Ponomarenko entered a not guilty plea.

He’s scheduled for a pretrial hearing on August 11.

The judge kept his bond at $5 million.

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