Stabbing victim's parents tell of 'the most unimaginable pain'

Stabbing victim's parents tell of 'the most unimaginable pain'

Charles Yets took several moments to compose himself then read aloud for Judge Heidi Ladd the remarks he'd been asked to prepare about life without his son.

For eight minutes, with occasional pauses to wipe his eyes and collect himself, he delivered, sobs audible from both sides of the courtroom, where supporters of Sarah Kijanowski and Chase Yets crowded the pews.

"Chase had a love of life and loved his friends and family. He would drop everything to help them on a moment's notice," said the proud father, whose son worked alongside him in his plumbing business.

Yets said his late son was "so excited" to find out he would become a parent.

But Kijanowski, he asserted, "manipulated and sucked the life" out of Chase Yets, alienating him from his family and "making him look like a bad person" through their fighting.

The passage of time since his death has not helped, he said.

"I learned that I will never be the same person again. Part of me will forever be missing."

"It sickens me that my son's life is not worth more than four years to this court," he said.

His wife's remarks struck a similar chord.

"We lost our only son Chase not because he was sick, not because he was in an accident, but because she selfishly took his life in a fit of rage. Losing my son Chase is the most unimaginable pain I've ever experienced in my life. My heart is broken, a piece of my heart is now gone," Melisa Yets told the judge.

She recounted details of what she learned of her son's final hours, placing blame squarely on Kijanowski.

Melisa Yets said Kijanowski killed her son while her own three daughters — Chase's then-1-year-old child and Kijanowski's older twins from a different relationship — were in the house.

"It should be the court's duty to protect her children from her," she said.

Kijanowski's parental rights to the girls have been terminated in a separate court proceeding, but they now live with her mother.

"We never felt that she was charged for the crime she committed. We will live with the feeling that justice was not served for our son, his daughter and our family with this plea agreement. We ask the court to please reconsider and deny it," Melisa Yets said during her eight-minute statement.

Kijanowski's only comments during the plea were to answer that she understood the rights she was giving up with a plea. She cried quietly and trembled during the approximately 20-minute hearing.

Ladd made clear for the audience and the record that she understood the family's pain but reminded them that the Illinois Constitution says it is "solely within the power of the state's attorney, not the court, to determine what charges to bring" and how to prosecute a case.

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Bra adamant wrote on September 20, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Folks, there's your sign about Ms. Reitz. It's just going to keep happening.