GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — A former-public school math teacher was sentenced to 30-to-60-years behind bars for slashing his wife’s throat after she discovered he was having an affair with a 14-year-old student.
James Chelekis, 32, attacked his wife Amanda in June after she confronted him about the affair. At the time, she didn’t know the dalliance was with a middle school student, so the two spent the evening discussing what to two and agreed to enter counseling.
That’s when Chelekis struck.
“Standing behind me, he kissed my forehead and slit my throat from one side to the other,” his ex-wife said in court, according to the Detroit Free Press. “The trauma I was forced to endure was horrendous.”
For the next hour, Amanda Chelekis — who is a registered nurse — struggled to stay alive while convincing her husband to call for help.
“He asked why I hadn’t bled out yet. I was constantly praying to find a way to live,’’ she 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.’’
After 60 minutes had passed, 911 was called.
His lawyer had argued that his client had suffered from mental health issues.
“I am truly sorry for how I failed and hurt people that I care about,’’ James Chelekis told the court. “I will never stop trying to say I’m sorry and apologize.’’
A math teacher at Crestwood Middle School, investigators say James Chelekis swapped texts, chats and photos with the girl. It is believed they began a sexual relationship in June 2016.
A statement from the girl’s mother that was read in court said that James Chelekis had manipulated and isolated her daughter in order to start the relationship.
“He robbed our daughter of her innocence and childhood. And that is something that she can never get back,” the mother wrote.
He was also sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison on a criminal sexual conduct charge, which will be served concurrently with the attempted murder sentence.