Man stabbed his stepson to death in Simi Valley home, police say

An investigation is underway in Simi Valley where a man is believed to have fatally stabbed his stepson in their home.


A man stabbed his adult stepson to death in a family dispute at their Simi Valley home Thursday night, authorities said.

Simi Valley police received a call from inside the house in the 2200 block of Hietter Avenue at 11:25 p.m. Paramedics and fire department officials were sent to the home, where 28-year-old Kelly Hughes was pronounced dead. Hughes’s stepfather, Howard Novak, 62, did not resist arrest and was taken in for questioning.

An investigation revealed that during an argument, Novak stabbed Hughes in the abdomen and the chest with a knife, killing him.


Cmdr. Joseph May reported that there had been no prior calls for service from that house.

Neighbors reportedly said that Novak has been a volunteer for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Law enforcement officials investigate a fatal stabbing at a Simi Valley home.
Law enforcement officials investigate a fatal stabbing at a Simi Valley home.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

May said that according to neighbors, Novak was a civilian volunteer, so he wasn’t under oath as a reserve or sworn officer.

The Simi Valley Police Department Detective Bureau is conducting the investigation with assistance from Ventura County Sheriff’s Office crime scene investigators.

“Part of the investigation is to canvas the neighborhood, and talk to neighbors to find out more information,” May said.

Officials believe that the suspect, his wife and stepson lived in the house together.

May described the crime scene.

“Outside it looks like a normal neighborhood with the exception of a bunch of police cars, a police mobile command center and a bunch of news trucks,” May said. “The street is closed off so you can’t get through.”



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