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Man who killed Bears fan in Jacksonville pleads guilty to murder

Bears Fan Stabbed AP

Back in October, an Illinois man who traveled to Jacksonville for the game between the Bears and Jaguars was killed the night before the game.

The man accused of murdering William Pettry pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges on Tuesday. The Florida Times-Union reports that Matthew Reid Hinson will be sentenced at a later date and could receive life in prison for his crime.

Hinson slashed Pettry’s throat at a bar in Jacksonville on Saturday night. Reports indicate that Pettry and a friend were talking to Hinson’s wife just before the attack.

In the days after the murder, former Bears tight end Kellen Davis organized fundraising efforts that raised more than $20,000 for Pettry’s family. Quarterback Jay Cutler also hosted Pettry’s family at a Bears game later in the season.

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38 Responses to “Man who killed Bears fan in Jacksonville pleads guilty to murder”
  1. larryboodry says: May 21, 2013 4:19 PM

    “Hinson slashed Pettry’s throat at a bar in Jacksonville on Saturday night. Reports indicate that Pettry and a friend were talking to Hinson’s wife just before the attack.”

    Yeah, talking to her as in offering her and her girlfriend a seat so the ladies wouldn’t have to stand, and Hinson mistook a simple act of courtesy as someone hitting on his wife. I hope he gets that life sentence.

  2. 49erstim says: May 21, 2013 4:22 PM

    Am I the only one that is outraged to know our tax dollars pay to house and feed convicted MURDERERS? This man murdered another human being in cold blood!

  3. dnelson21 says: May 21, 2013 4:22 PM

    As a Jags fan, I want to say that this dirtbag is not a representative of this fanbase at all, and this sounds like he was nothing more than an overjealous piece of trash. Rest in peace William Pettry, and my prayers are with your family.

  4. orangejynx says: May 21, 2013 4:30 PM

    I don’t know what’s more confusing…
    A life sentence for 2nd degree murder or
    cutting a mans throat is 2nd degree murder???

  5. rc33 says: May 21, 2013 4:35 PM

    Well-intentioned as it may have been, it’s flat-out odd to read “..not representative of this fanbase..” in a story such as this.
    uhhh, yeah..I would hope so!

  6. vdogg says: May 21, 2013 4:38 PM

    Hook him up to the chair and let the widow flip the switch.

  7. tombradyswig says: May 21, 2013 4:39 PM

    put him to death, yesterday!

  8. nyyjetsknicks says: May 21, 2013 4:39 PM

    49erstim says:
    May 21, 2013 4:22 PM
    Am I the only one that is outraged to know our tax dollars pay to house and feed convicted MURDERERS? This man murdered another human being in cold blood!

    __________________

    You’re free to move to another county. By the way, the death penalty is more expensive than life in prison. But don’t let facts get into the way of your statement.

  9. drone501 says: May 21, 2013 4:39 PM

    what is wrong with the death sentence? this piece of crap should be erased from this earth.

  10. larryboodry says: May 21, 2013 4:39 PM

    Shame Florida doesn’t have the death penalty.

  11. tyler4richardson says: May 21, 2013 4:40 PM

    Our world would be a much better place if we had vigilantes who were ready to dish out justice to pieces of crap like this “man”.

  12. officialgame says: May 21, 2013 4:40 PM

    What constitutes 1st degree murder? Slicing his head off.

  13. tjacks7 says: May 21, 2013 4:43 PM

    49erstim says:
    May 21, 2013 4:22 PM
    Am I the only one that is outraged to know our tax dollars pay to house and feed convicted MURDERERS? This man murdered another human being in cold blood!

    No but unfortunately, death by execution is excessively expensive. Most people who support the death penalty believe it is more cost effective than life in prison. Perhaps at one time, when executions were swift and sure, this may have been the case. It is not now. Most people knowledgeable about the subject will agree that the delay now built into the system, more trial preparation, much longer time to get to trial, much longer jury selections and trials, much more complicated and far more frequent appeals, and continuous motions, have increased the cost of capital punishment so that it is now many times the cost of keeping a prisoner in prison for life.”

  14. expertop says: May 21, 2013 4:44 PM

    orangejynx: what’s confusing about either of those?

  15. 2ruefan says: May 21, 2013 4:44 PM

    Yeah,
    The designations are kind of confusing. Laws differ in different states, but I recall learning a long time ago that in NYS at least, 1st degree Murder is ONLY a designation for premeditated murder of a public official (like a judge or police officer). All other murders are 2nd degree.

    I think that’s still the case….

  16. aldavis4president says: May 21, 2013 4:45 PM

    How iz this second degree? Is it because he didn’t plan the attack out? Either way hope this hick rotts in prison. And I’d gladly pay some tax dollars to keep him there. How people can act like this is just disgusting to me.

  17. tennesseeoilers says: May 21, 2013 4:46 PM

    Wow … Dude’s even rock’n Jags’ colors in jail.

  18. blacknole08 says: May 21, 2013 4:54 PM

    @Larryboodry,

    Oh, Florida has the death penalty. I work at the FLA Supreme Court and we get death penalty cases non-stop!

    Speaking of which, I hope this guy fries in you-know-where.

  19. whatjusthapped says: May 21, 2013 4:55 PM

    We can only hope that he serves his life sentence in the same 10X10 cell with Leroy.

    Leroy spends most of his money on cigarettes so splurging on KY kelly is out of the question, much to the dismay of Mr. Hinson.

  20. larryboodry says: May 21, 2013 5:10 PM

    “…it is now many times the cost of keeping a prisoner in prison for life.”

    Not if they simplified things…A bullet and a gun would work just as well…And no appeals allowed in cases where everyone knows the guy did it.

  21. larryboodry says: May 21, 2013 5:14 PM

    @blacknole08:

    So he pleaded guilty to avoid the gas chamber, or whatever method is used…Just once I’d like to see some idiot plead guilty and get a HARSHER sentence.

  22. benning89 says: May 21, 2013 5:17 PM

    Maybe he didn’t think the knife was loaded?

  23. dadawg77 says: May 21, 2013 5:28 PM

    First usually requires premeditated crime. This doesn’t seem like one. Maybe the DA would rather spend resources elsewhere and offered a deal for a charge of murder two w/ no death penalty for a guilty plea. The murderer had no defense for murder two but might for murder one, so he took it. Here’s to this guy dying in a 10X10 cell.

  24. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: May 21, 2013 5:35 PM

    Slashed the guy’s throat = Second Degree Murder. That’s the surest way to kill someone with a knife (and it sounds like it was from behind, the coward’s way of “confronting” someone).

    What does it take to rise to First Degree Murder?

  25. thegreatgabbert says: May 21, 2013 6:11 PM

    The fact that the victim was a Bear’s fan does not make the crime less heinous.

  26. freebledsoe says: May 21, 2013 6:45 PM

    Locking a murderer up for life is a fine way to spend my tax dollars if you ask me! Much better than bailing out big banks and corporations, paying for some politician’s pet project, or even subsidizing a billionaire’s new stadium. I’ll gladly have my tax dollars spent on incarcerating murderers, it directly makes the community safer.

  27. metalhead65 says: May 21, 2013 6:46 PM

    the death penalty is only expensive because liberals have made it so hard to do it once they are convicted. if the death sentence was carried out in a timely manner it would no be so expensive. there is no excuse for somebody found guilty and admits it to still be on death row years later.

  28. multiplemiggs says: May 21, 2013 7:04 PM

    nyyjetsknicks in no way shape or form does the death penalty cost more than a life sentence. The average cost for housing an inmate in prison is $50 a day. You do the math.

    sincerely,

    a college educated LEO

  29. harry1941 says: May 21, 2013 7:50 PM

    Years ago a murder was put death for the first killing. Now the law is today, you have the murder two time, in order to receive the death. The country’s’courts is run money loving illuminatis, who worship satan in secret..

  30. hardate says: May 21, 2013 9:05 PM

    DUUUVVAAALLL!!

    Once the appeal process is over, we should hang ‘em in the street. The violent crime rate would plummet.

  31. ososrule says: May 21, 2013 9:21 PM

    People need to calm down…..a slit throat over a football game argument! Although, Bears fans can be very heated…..it’s still never enough to murder someone over!

  32. mackcarrington says: May 21, 2013 9:44 PM

    I must remind myself to avoid bars in Jacksonville and the women who frequent them.

  33. blancodiablo says: May 21, 2013 11:23 PM

    I must remind myself to avoid bars in Jacksonville and the women who frequent them.
    —————–
    Somehow I don’t think women in general would have a problem with that, champ.

  34. petedutcher says: May 22, 2013 8:46 AM

    Looking back at all the trouble NFL players have gotten into, how many are in bars or related to drinking?

    Nothing good comes of that lifestyle. At. All.

  35. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 22, 2013 1:57 PM

    But in the photo he looks like such a nice harmless fellow…..oh boy

  36. daflabear says: Jun 1, 2013 1:43 PM

    He deserves the death penalty.
    An innocent football fan and friends walk just two blocks from the team Headquarters Hotel to a so called reputable restaurant at a tourist friendly attraction and subject fan gets his throat cut and is murdered.
    My wife and I were at the same restaurant just an hour before this awful tragedy occurred.
    There has STILL been no explanation from the perp why this cowardly act took place.
    To take another life on a whim deserves the final penalty.
    PERIOD!

  37. larryboodry says: Jun 1, 2013 2:25 PM

    ososrule says: May 21, 2013 9:21 PM

    “People need to calm down…..a slit throat over a football game argument! Although, Bears fans can be very heated…..it’s still never enough to murder someone over!”

    Dude, this had nothing to do with the game…The victim offered a woman and her girlfriend seats at his table so they wouldn’t have to stand while waiting for their own table…Her jealous tool husband repaid that kindness with his knife.

  38. daflabear says: Jun 1, 2013 3:31 PM

    Larry,
    You nailed it!
    I cannot believe the number of people commenting who have no idea what happened.
    An innocent victim murdered by an apparently (still has not said why he did it, doesn’t seem to remember) drugged murderer.
    No mercy!

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