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Bears fan fatally slashed after talking to man's wife

October 08, 2012|By Matt Pearce

William Pettry had flown from Milwaukee to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Bears game against the Jaguars with his best friend, looking for a good time.

He never made it to the football game. His life ended at a bar early Sunday when police said a Jacksonville man, Matthew Hinson, 27, slashed Pettry’s throat “cold-bloodedly” after he talked to Hinson’s wife.

Pettry, 42, and a father of three, died at a nearby hospital.

Witnesses told police that Hinson “cut the victim and calmly walked out of the establishment,” putting the knife in his pocket.

Police stopped Hinson before he pulled out of the bar parking lot in his truck, and he scuffled with officers. “He resisted a little bit,” Jacksonville County Police Lt. Rob Schoonover said at a Monday news conference.

Police said Hinson admitted to the killing but wouldn’t say why he did it. Police said the killing was not sports-related.

Pettry was a construction worker and “such a huge Bears fan. ... He never got to go to the Bears game, he never got to enjoy it," his cousin, Quincy Asbury Jr., told the Chicago Tribune.

In a Facebook post that has since been taken down, Pettry’s wife, Karen, posted that “I'm so numb and I still can not believe it is true. Today my husband William Christopher Pettry (Most of you only know him by Chris) was taken from his family way too early. Some idiot has taken his life. I’m so mad, just don’t understand why, very lost right now. Please hug the ones you love because you never know if tomorrow you will have that chance.”

Her profile featured a white construction van covered with painted hand prints and the words "#1 Daddy We Love you!"

Police said that at the bar, Hinson saw Pettry and a friend talking to Hinson’s wife and another woman. At one point, police said, Hinson was sitting on a bench with Pettry, then stood up and cut his throat before walking out.

Hinson had no criminal record with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department outside of a few traffic tickets, according to


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