Dennis Kordalewski is still reliving the horror of events that ended his brother’s life.
“On May 16, 1991, my brother Stephen Kordalewski, was murdered near Lee Summit,” said Dennis. “His body was found beside a dirt road, shot in the head, at close range more than once.”
The Rhode Island resident has committed to attend every parole hearing that convicted murderer Darrell Welch receives, “until I am 115,” noted Dennis.
Stephen Kordalewski was just 30 years old when his life ended. “Stephen was left on the side of the road like a dead animal,” said Dennis about his brother. “No person deserves this.”
Welch is serving a 34-years to life sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione where he is scheduled for a parole hearing at 8:30 a.m., Dec. 21.
Welch had his first parole hearing scheduled earlier this year on May 12. Dennis got on a plane at 3 a.m. on May 9 to attend that hearing.
District Attorney David Hollister also traveled to Mule Creek State Prison to attend the hearing.
“I make an effort to attend every ‘lifer’ hearing,” said Hollister, who travels throughout the state to accomplish that task.
“I recognize the importance of those hearings for the surviving family members and the community,” said Hollister, who commented that he seeks to do his best to assure justice continues to be served.
On the day of the hearing, May 12, the parole board at Mule Creek State Prison decided to postpone the hearing for Welch.
Stephen’s brother Dennis admitted he was surprised and disappointed, but said, “I remain committed.”
With a new parole hearing date of Wednesday, Dec. 21, both Hollister and Dennis Kordalewski have made plans to be there.
“My Dad died one year after Stephen on the night of Father’s Day 1992,” said Dennis. “I know Darrell Glenn Welch can’t be charged with my father’s death but somehow he contributed to it.”
Dennis wrote to the parole board saying he feels he has received a life sentence himself, “I am a prisoner of the horror of Stephen’s death for the rest of his life.”
In the letter of protest Dennis pointed out that Welch had just been paroled when he committed the murder.
“My brother Stephen will not get a parole from death. I will not get a parole from the sorrow and pain in my heart and mind over the violent crime Welch committed to Stephen,” said the surviving brother.
Speaking with Dennis in December while he prepared for the long trip west to attend the parole hearing, he said, “Darrell Glenn Welch has already demonstrated his lack of respect for human life and property.”
That, Dennis says, is why he will not be recommending parole for Darrell Glenn Welch.