Man Convicted for Beating Autistic Son to Death with Baseball Bat

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A father has been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the brutal beating death of his five-year-old son, Jax, in 2021. Matthew Ponomarenko was convicted on Thursday by a jury in Parma.

The tragic incident occurred on March 25, 2021, when Ponomarenko killed Jax Ponomarenko inside their home on Russell Avenue, according to Parma police. After committing the heinous act, Ponomarenko called 911 and confessed to dispatchers that he had just taken his son’s life after hearing voices.

Law enforcement officers rushed to the scene and discovered the young boy’s lifeless body in the living room. Ponomarenko was subsequently charged with aggravated murder and endangering children.

According to Jax’s uncle, Johnathan Cherni, the young boy’s murder came as a sudden and unexpected tragedy. Jax’s autism meant that he had unique needs and used a tablet to communicate with others.

Cherni reported that Ponomarenko had recently been released from a behavioral health center and was reportedly not taking any medication. Despite appearing to be in a stable condition, Ponomarenko allegedly carried out this horrific act.

The motive behind this horrific crime remains unclear, leaving a community and the nation in shock. The sentencing of Ponomarenko to life in prison offers a small semblance of justice for the devastating loss suffered by Jax Ponomarenko and his loved ones.

Ultimately, the sentencing of Matthew Ponomarenko to life in prison without parole provides some measure of justice for the young victim and his grieving family. It is a somber reminder that the consequences of such violent acts reverberate throughout communities, leaving a lasting impact and a call to action.