53 year-old Herbert Van Stephens, award winning fashion designer and former stylist for Will Smith and Oprah, has been sentenced to 39 years in prison for stabbing and killing John E. Atkinson, his 24 year-old boyfriend.
The incident occurred at the 600 block of West Stratford Place in Chicago, IL back in January, and stemmed from an argument that escalated to brutality. Autopsy reports affirmed that Atkinson was stabbed a total of 50 times, with 30 of the wounds being in the lung and chest area. Atkinson was also injured several times by other means, and passed away in the Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital.
Van Stephens’ lawyer claimed self-defense as reasoning for the killing, which was unsuccessful.
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