Parma father accused of killing 5-year-old son pleads not guilty at arraignment

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PARMA, Ohio (WJW) – Matthew Ponomarenko was arraigned on charges of aggravated murder and endangering children in the death of his 5-year-old son Friday morning.

Jax Ponomarenko was killed on March 25 inside their home on Russell Avenue near West 45th Street in Parma.

Jax Ponomarenko, 5-year-old boy killed in Parma on March 25, 2021

Prosecutors say the child was hit multiple times on his head and face.

Matthew Ponomarenko, 31, called 911 on March 25 and told a dispatcher he killed his son because he was “hearing voices.”

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

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. He did not speak during the hearing.

The grandmother of Jax Ponomarenko asked the court for no bond.

The judge continued the $5 million bond.

Ponomarenko would have to pay 10% of that to be released.

The grand jury said there was evidence of “prior calculation” in the child’s death and said there was also evidence of “torture.”

A judge has previously said the death penalty is possible in the case, as is life without parole.

Ponomarenko’s pretrial is scheduled for April 20.

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