The stepfather is identified as 57-year-old James Arthur Chew, the third. The stabbing happened at a home on Avenue 19 near Road 12 just outside Chowchilla.
Action News spoke with two men who often work across the street. They say the stepfather stands about six-foot-seven, but they describe him as a kind, religious man who they believe may have been defending himself.
Lights and sirens filled a Madera County field Wednesday night after deputies say a fight in the home ended with a deadly stabbing.
A neighbor Action News spoke with, Nicole Marticorena said, "It looked like a UFO just landed, so we were driving over there and there were cops, the helicopter was going crazy, everything."
Two men who often work across the street were shocked to learn James Chew the third was accused of killing his stepson.
Chew's friend, Sean Sinks said, "That surprised me they said someone got killed, and I was thinking it was him, but it had to be something really bad to set for him to do something like that because I don't see him doing that at all."
Chew was also taken to the hospital with stab wounds, and friends believe he may have been defending himself.
Bill Sinks said, "I'd almost bet on it."
Authorities are not saying if this could be a case of self-defense. They did tell Action News the stepson only recently moved in with his mom and stepdad.
The sheriff's office is having a hard time confirming the victim's identity because they say he has multiple aliases. And now friends are having a hard time believing Chew could face murder charges.
"He's got the bible on the dash of his truck and willing to help you out whenever he can," said Sean Sinks. "It just really surprised me if that's what happened."
Chew is expected to recover from his stab wounds, and at last check he had not been booked into jail.