A man previously charged with murdering his son now faces capital punishment if convicted. Matthew Ponomarenko, 32, was indicted again on Friday for two counts of aggravated murder, this time with a possible death sentence, according to Cleveland.com. He killed Jax Ponomarenko, 5, on purpose, and with prior calculation and design, prosecutors said.
Authorities have said that is Matthew Ponomarenko telling the dispatch operator that he killed Jax, he did not know why he did it, and he had been hearing voices in his head.
“I just killed my son,” said the man identified as the defendant.
“What do you mean you just killed your son?” said the dispatcher.
“I’m hearing voices,” said the defendant.
The child was on the autism spectrum, and used a tablet to communicate, uncle Johnathan Cherni told WOIO-TV.
Matthew Ponomarenko is now also charged with two counts of endangering children. He has previously pleaded not guilty in the case.
Matthew Ponomarenko was previously indicted on charges of aggravated murder and child endangering on April 9. Those charges did not include a death penalty specification. https://t.co/K6mKK3OfiD
— Cleveland 19 News (@cleveland19news) August 1, 2021
“It is one of the most vicious attacks committed by a human being I have ever seen,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said in a statement Friday, according to Cleveland. “The fact that it was a father who did this to his young son is incomprehensible to me.”
Matthew Ponomarenko previously pleaded no contest to a 2017 child endangerment case in which authorities said he left Jax, then, 1 in the middle of the road, yelled at people, and confessed to cops that he was high on substances such as meth and PCP.
[images via City of Parma, Ohio Police Department]
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