County judge sets $5 million bond for Parma man accused of murdering 5-year-old autistic son

Matthew Ponomarenko
Matthew Ponomarenko(Source: Cuyahoga County Jail)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 11:27 AM EDT
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PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - The man accused of brutally killing his own son was in a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas courtroom for the first time on Wednesday morning.

Judge Nancy Fuerst set bond at $5 million for Matthew Ponomarenko. He faces an aggravated murder charge that was transfered from Parma Municipal Court to the Cuyahoga County judicial system.

Investigators said the 31-year-old called 911 from his Russell Avenue home on March 25 and admitted to the dispatcher that he murdered his young son, identified by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner as Jax Ponomarenko, using a baseball bat.

“I just killed my son after hearing voices,” Ponomarenko said during the call to emergency dispatchers.

WARNING: Video contains graphic content:

Ponomarenko was taken into police custody at the crime scene.

Jonathan Cherni, the uncle of the 5-year-old boy, said Jax was an amazing child. He was also autistic and learned to communicate using a tablet, according to Cherni.

The five-year-old boy was murdered on March 25, 2021.
The five-year-old boy was murdered on March 25, 2021.((Source: Parma police))

The boy’s uncle also told 19 News that Ponomarenko was recently released from a behavioral health center and was off of his medication.

Court records do not yet indicate when Ponomarenko is scheduled to appear again.

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