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Parma man accused of killing 5-year-old son pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 11:12:28-04

CLEVELAND — A Parma man accused of killing his 5-year-old son in March pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity during an arraignment Thursday in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Matthew J. Ponomarenko, 32, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, both unspecified felonies, and two counts of endangering children, both second-degree felonies, after being indicted last month by a grand jury.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges by reason of insanity.

He was given a $5 million bond and was ordered to have no contact with the victim’s family.

The indictment states Ponomarenko, "did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the death" of the child.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office, Jax Ponomarenko, 5, listed the boy's cause of death as "blunt impacts of head with skull and brain injuries."

It happened on March 25 in the 4700 block of Russell Avenue. Police responded to the home after Ponomarenko called 911 and told a dispatcher he killed his son with a baseball bat and had been "hearing voices," records and recordings show.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 11 in the courtroom of Judge Michael Russo.

RELATED: Man accused of killing 5-year-old son in Parma indicted on murder charges

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