Simi Valley Man Sentenced to 12 Years for 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 sentenced Thursday to 12 years in state prison for the stabbing death of his stepson in a dispute over chores, prosecutors said.

Howard Novak, 65, was found guilty last month of voluntary manslaughter in the Aug. 4, 2016, slaying of 28-year-old Kelly Hughes, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

Novak was convicted of using a knife to kill Hughes during a fight that broke out after the defendant had confronted his stepson about not doing his chores earlier in the day.

Police found Hughes with fatal stab wounds in his abdomen and chest when they responded to the family’s home on the 2200 block of Hietter Avenue around 11:25 p.m.

Novak remained at the house and was arrested that night.

The 12-year sentence he got Thursday is the maximum allowed by law, prosecutors said.

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