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Man Accused Of Stabbing Bears Fan Charged With Murder

Matthew Hinson has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. (Credit: Jacksonville Police Department)

Matthew Hinson has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. (Credit: Jacksonville Police Department)

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UPDATED: 10/8/2012 1:25 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — The man accused of slashing the throat of a Bears fan attending the game in Jacksonville over the weekend appeared in court today, charged with murder.

Matthew Hinson, 27, stabbed William Pettry, 42, inside Fioon MacCool’s Irish Pub on Sunday morning, about 15 hours before the Bears played the Jacksonville Jaguars, police said.

Several witnesses saw the attack. Afterward, Hinson placed the bloody knife in his pocket and walked out of the restaurant. Officers located the suspect in a vehicle a short time later. Hinson scuffled with police and sustained facial injuries and then was arrested, authorities said.

When interviewed by detectives, Hinson admitted to the stabbing.

victim pettry Man Accused Of Stabbing Bears Fan Charged With Murder

William Christopher Pettry, 42, died after an altercation in Jacksonville, Fla. (Facebook)

Police said Pettry, of Lake Villa, was talking with Hinson and Hinson’s wife inside the restaurant.

“For some reason, he became jealous, enraged, whatever you want to call it, and approached our victim,” said Jacksonville Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Schoonover. “According to one of the eyewitnesses, he calmly and basically cold-blooded just cut the victim’s throat, and calmly walked out of the restaurant.”

Pettry died from his injuries.

Bears coach Lovie Smith spoke briefly about Pettry during his Monday press conference.

“Our prayers definitely go out to his family,” Smith said.

Pettry’s aunt, Lillie Asbury of Chicago, said her nephew, who was known as Chris, did nothing wrong.

“He didn’t harass anyone. He didn’t have any confrontation with anyone,” she told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.

Asbury believes the man came to the bar after friends called him about his wife, who was reportedly there, too.

“They both sat down and the guy just pulled out a knife and stabbed him — just like that,” she said. “And he told the police, when asked, ‘Why did you stab this man?’, he said, ‘I don’t know.’ ”

The bar was near the hotel where Pettry and a close friend were staying to attend Sunday’s Bears game.

Pettry, a contractor, was the married father of three children who range in age from 15 to five and was a huge Bears fan, relatives said.

Asbury said her nephew rarely took a vacation — until this weekend.

“He was so happy. He posted on Facebook, ‘I’m off to see the Bears play,’ ” she said.

Pettry’s wife, Karen, wrote about the tragedy on her Facebook page Sunday, saying: “I’m so numb and I still cannot 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.”