Dragnet in gay murder case may ensnare TV titan OPRAH WINFREY in tangled web of justice!

OPRAH WINFREY could be called to testify in a brutal murder case after one of her favorite fashion designers al­legedly stabbed his boyfriend to death!

Police say Chicago-based designer Herbert Van Stephens, who’s also worked with actor Will Smith and the late singer Lena Horne, plunged a knife into his live-in lover dozens of times.

Oprah fears she’ll be called to court as a character witness when the case goes to trial, and she doesn’t want to be seen defend­ing a murderer,” a source told The ENQUIRER.

Stephens, 52, reportedly got into a vicious shouting match with boyfriend John E. Atkinson, 25, at their home on March 5, and their roommate called police.

When paramedics arrived, Atkinson was on the ground, blood streaming from his body. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died.

According to police, Stephens had stabbed his lover 30 times in the chest, piercing his heart and lungs, and then stabbed him another 10 times in the abdomen, face and neck.

Stephens is await­ing trial on first-degree murder charges, and in­siders say Oprah was “stunned” by the news.

“I’m sure Oprah wants nothing to do with this,” said the source. “She has her own prob­lems trying to boost the ratings of her OWN network.”