Dad acted ‘like every other day’ the morning after killing my mom, teen remembers at Mississauga murder sentencing

Belynda Kerelchuk’s teen daughter remembers how her father greeted her the morning after he stabbed her mother to death.

He “walked in and greeted me, ‘good morning, Gwen,’ like every other day,” Gwen Kerelchuk told a Brampton court, reading out her victim impact statement at her father’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

“The violent and senseless way in which she was killed still haunts me,” the 18-year-old said.

Stephen Kerelchuk is facing a mandatory life sentence for the second-degree murder of his wife, Belynda Kerelchuk, 53. At his sentencing, the court heard he stabbed her at least 20 times with a knife inside their Mississauga home.

In her statement, the couple’s daughter said she did not learn what had happened until after her father called police on the morning of Oct. 6, 2020.

“Everything changed the moment I saw police lights reflected on the wall,” Gwen recalled, adding that her father approached the police at the door. “I still recall how terrified and confused I was, as I stood there, frozen, watching, still in my pajamas.”

In “his disturbingly calm voice,” he told the officers “that they should just go upstairs,” she said.

Stephen Kerelchuk watched from the prisoner’s box as his daughter addressed the court Wednesday.

Because he is facing a mandatory life sentence, the only question for Justice Bruce Durno is when Kerelchuk, 55, should be eligible to apply for parole.

The defense argued he should be eligible in 10 years, The Crown said he should serve at least 12 years before his first chance at parole, citing the need to denounce domestic homicides and the violent way the victim was killed.

Both the Crown and defense agreed that Kerelchuk’s early guilty plea and lack of a prior criminal record should count in his favour.

In her statement, the Kerelchuk’s daughter remembered thinking she should check in on the “best mother I could ever asked for” shortly before midnight the night of her death, but decided to let her rest.

“I struggle now with the thought of what I possibly could have walked in on,” Gwen said.

Also Wednesday, her older brother Erick, a second-year university student, described the “very special relationship,” he shared with his mother, and how he “truly lost everything,” since the death of one of the “smartest people, I ‘ve had the pleasure of knowing.”

The hearing was attended by several other family members, including Belynda Kerelchuk’s parents and four siblings, all of whom took turns reading poignant notes about their loss.

Sister Joanna Reay spoke of the “huge void” created by the death of her “amazing and supportive big sister,” the oldest of five siblings.

She described her sister as “very successful,” and the “glue that held us all together,” before saying, “the pain itself is a life sentence for us.”

Addressing the court, Stephen Kerelchuk said “I’m so sorry,” to his family who has been “devastated by my actions.” He said he “lives with intense guilt,” and said he did not tell his daughter what happened that morning because he wanted to shield her.

“I wish every day that I could take it back,” he said.

Durno will give his ruling on June 1.


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.

Leave a Comment