Man Charged With Stabbing Roommate to Death

Herbert Van Stephens, 52, faces one count of first-degree murder

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    Getty Images / Scott Olson
    Police said the fight between the two men broke out at about 11:30 p.m. Monday in their home in the 600 block of West Stratford Place.

    A man with no criminal history was charged with murder on Wednesday for allegedly stabbing his roommate during a fight at their Lakeview neighborhood apartment Monday night.

    Herbert Van Stephens, 52, faces one count of first-degree murder, police said.

    The men were "mutual combatants" in the fight, which happened in an apartment in the 600 block of West Stratford Place about 11:25 p.m., said police spokesman Hector Alfaro.

    A third roommate first called police after he awoke to sounds of a struggle, and came out of his room to his roommates fighting, police said. One was holding a knife, and both already looked like they had been stabbed.

    Police couldn’t immediately say what touched off the fight, but said the two men were the only people involved in the domestic-related argument. Both were stabbed multiple times, Alfaro said.

    John E. Atkinson, 25, was pronounced dead at 12:08 a.m. Tuesday at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    Van Stephens was also hospitalized in critical condition, police said. It’s unclear whether he remained hospitalized Wednesday night.

    He’s scheduled for a bond hearing on Thursday.