Live – Panel Discussion on 2nd anniversary of Kalamazoo shootings

Former teacher sentenced to 30-60 years for trying to kill his wife

James Chelekis

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A former Kentwood teacher will spend 30 to 60 years in prison for trying to kill his wife.

James Chelekis pleaded “no contest” earlier this month to Assault with Intent to Murder after stabbing his wife in June at their home in Wyoming.

Chelekis was also sentenced to 15 to 40 years to be served concurrently for Criminal Sexual Conduct, 1st degree, involving a teenage student.  Investigators had charged that Chelekis and the teen had traded texts, chats and photos that suggested they had a sexual relationship that began June 1, 2016.

Chelekis’ ex-wife, Amanda, survived and has recovered from a stab wound to her neck.

“No person should ever to be thankful they lived despite such a traumatic experience,” said Amanda Chelekis. “I can’t imagine anyone doing something so violent to their worst enemy, yet my husband of 10 years did this to me with our children across the hall in bed, all to prevent me from discovering he was having an affair with a minor.”

Amanda Chelekis said she believes if it wasn’t for her experience being a nurse practitioner, she believes she wouldn’t be alive to take care of her children.

“Even through all this pain, the hardest impact is knowing what my children will have to through,” said Amanda. “Someday when it’s developmentally appropriate, I have to tell them their father is not with us because he tried to kill me. I fear the psychological impact it will have on them.”

A statement on behalf of the 14-year-old girl’s mother also addressed Chelekis in court Tuesday. “He [Chelekis] robbed our daughter of her innocence and childhood and it’s something she’ll never get back. He even went as far as buying her a ring and told her he was going to leave his wife so they could be together. All the things he did was mind numbing.”

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