65-Year-Old Simi Valley Man Convicted of Killing Stepson in Dispute Over Chores

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Howard Novak is seen in a booking photo released Aug. 5, 2016, by the Simi Valley Police Department.
Howard Novak is seen in a booking photo released Aug. 5, 2016, by the Simi Valley Police Department.

A Simi Valley man was convicted Wednesday of stabbing his 28-year-old stepson to death in their home in 2016.

A jury found 65-year-old Howard Novak guilty of voluntary manslaughter, using a knife to kill Kelly Hughes the night of Aug. 4, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Police were called to the family’s home on the 2200 block of Hietter Avenue around 11:25 p.m. that night after the two men began fighting, officers said.

Novak killed Hughes after confronting him about not doing his chores earlier in the day, according to prosecutors.

The stepson was fatally stabbed in his abdomen and chest, investigators said.

Novak remained at the home until authorities arrived and was booked on suspicion of murder.

A criminal complaint filed in September 2017 charged Novak with murder. It’s unclear when the charge was amended to voluntary manslaughter.

Novak is scheduled to be sentenced July 11, when he’ll face a maximum possible penalty of 12 years in state prison, the DA’s office said.

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