Matthew Ponomarenko pleads guilty to murdering his son Jax

On March 25, 2021, Matthew Ponomarenko, 34, called 911 from his home in Parma, Ohio, to report that he had killed his son Jax, 5.

“What do you mean you just killed your son?” the dispatcher said, according to audio released by

“I hear voices,” Ponomarenko said.

He said he didn’t know why he killed the child.

Now, more than two years later, He pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison. After 45 years behind bars, he is eligible for parole.

The charges are aggravated murder, kidnapping and child endangerment.

Jax Ponomarenko and Matthew J. Ponomarenko

Ponomarenko’s behavior has put Jax in danger before. Accordingly, he pleaded no contest to a child endangerment case from 2017 Cleveland. Authorities said he left his then-1-year-old son in the middle of the street and yelled at people. He told police he had used substances such as meth and PCP, authorities said.

Olly Dawes

Olly Dawes is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Olly Dawes joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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