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Will Smith and Oprah’s Former Designer Sentenced to 39 Years for Murder

Herbert-Van-Stephens

(AllHipHop News) Herbert Van Stephens spent decades styling the biggest names and now a prison jumpsuit will be his only attire for decades.

The 53-year-old costume and wardrobe designer was sentenced to 39 years in prison after being convicted of first degree murder in January for the stabbing of John E. Atkinson.

Atkinson, 24 and Van Stephens were a couple and had been arguing before Van Stephens repeatedly stabbed his companion with a knife in the 600 block of West Stratford Place in Chicago, IL.

An autopsy revealed Atkinson had been stabbed 50 times with 30 of those directed at his chest which pierced his lung and heart. Atkinson suffered several other injuries and was pronounced dead after being taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital.

While Atkinson was writhing in pain, the prosecutors of the case claim Van Stephens called a relative. Van Stephens defense attorney Ruth McBeth unsuccessfully argued the heinous act was a result of self-defense.

Van Stephens has a film credit for wardrobe in the 1997 movie Peoria Babylon and has most notably styled Oprah for her TV show in the past.

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