A former Michigan middle school teacher who tried to kill his wife at their home after having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student will spend the next 30 to 60 years in prison.
The sentence came after 32-year-old James Philip Chelekis’s wife, Amanda, told the horrific details of the day her husband slit her throat after she confronted him about his sexual relationship with a middle school child.
His wife told the court how after her throat was cut, her husband then proceeded to read her Bible verses and called his child victim as she was bleeding out.
James Chelekis, standing next to his attorney, Shawn Perry, cries as his ex-wife reads a statement at his trial for attempted murder after he slit her throat and left her to bleed out
In the end, it was the middle schooler who talked him into calling 911, some 55 minutes after the attack.
‘He came out of the closet behind me, my head was tipped back resting on the back of the chair with my eyes closed. Standing behind me, he kissed my forehead and slit my throat from one side to the other,’ said Amanda, who had since divorced the man who tried to kill her and now goes by another name.
Amanda grabbed the knife, cutting her hands badly. She had a gaping wound on her neck as the pair struggled on the floor. She knew she was close to dying.
‘At one point, he laid next to me, and said, “This is the end,”‘ she said.
Amanda, ex-wife of James Chelekis, read a statement to the court. Despite having her throat cut, using her skills as a registered nurse, she gave herself medical care to contain the bleeding for at least 55 minutes before her husband called for help
James Chelekis had been having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old middle school student and cut his wife’s throat with a knife
‘He went from being a good person in a good marriage to attempting to murder me to cover this relationship with the student up.’
Chelekis claimed that during an argument with his 33-year-old wife he grabbed a knife to protect himself and she fell on the blade.
MLive reports investigators said Amanda had injuries on her hands that were consistent with her being attacked.
Amanda said that it was her training as a nurse that allowed her to position her head so that the blood did not fill her airways.
‘He asked why I hadn’t bled out yet. I was constantly praying to find a way to live,’ Amanda told the court. ‘I told him I was going to die very soon if he didn’t do something and he would regret it the rest of his life.’
The couple had two daughters aged 2 and 5. The former teacher slashed his wife’s throat after she found out about an affair. He has now been sentenced to between 30 to 60 years in prison
Chelekis also pleaded guilty to charges he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student while he was a math teacher at Kentwood’s Crestswood Middle School
The couple’s two daughters were home at the time of the attack, but were not aware of what happened.
During a police investigation into the stabbing, authorities learned that Chelekis had a sexual relationship with a female student.
The former Crestswood Middle School math teacher had been with the district for about six years according to The Detroit Free Press.
The victim, who was 14 at the time, told detectives that the tryst went on for a year and a half and investigators also found text message and photos confirming the relationship.
On Tuesday, Amanda faced her ex-husband in court where he had previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a child.
‘Someday when it is developmentally appropriate, I have to tell my children their father is not with us because he tried to kill me,’ Amanda said as her husband wept a few feet away.
The judge went above sentencing guidelines in order to give him an even harsher penalty
Police said when they arrived to the couple’s home Amanda Chekelis’ throat had been sliced and she had defensive wounds on her hands
The mother of the 14-year-old girl with whom he had been having a relationship with for the better part of a year wrote a letter to the court which was read aloud.
‘He was successful at fooling colleagues, school officials and many other adults, including my husband and me, so I’m not surprised how he was able to brainwash our impressionable and vulnerable child as well,’ the mother wrote.
Chelekis’s attorney said that her client’s actions were the result of untreated mental illness but the judge didn’t buy it reports WOOD-TV.
‘You…did want her to die, you expected her to die, you wondered why it was taking so long to die,’ said Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan.
‘If there ever is a case for exceeding (sentencing) guidelines, I think this is it,’ he said.
Before being led away to prison, Chelekis offered an apology.
‘I failed… And I’m truly sorry about how I failed and hurt people I truly cared about,’ he said.