William Christopher Pettry | Man fatally stabbed in Jacksonville - FOX 32 News Chicago

Bears fan fatally stabbed in Jacksonville bar, victim’s family speaks

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Chicago Bears fan was stabbed to death inside a Jacksonville, Fla. bar early Sunday as a result of a disturbance inside the establishment.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said William Christopher Pettry, 42, of Petite Court in Lake Villa, Ill., was one of three involved in a deadly bar brawl.

Moments before he was killed, Pettry, had been talking to Matthew Reid Hinson's wife at the bar, Jacksonville sheriff's investigators said late Monday morning.

"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 was visiting Jacksonville with plans to attend the Bears game against the Jaguars.

Police said Hinson confessed to the crime after being arrested in his truck shortly after the murder.

They found a small pocket knife believed to be the murder weapon. "During a subsequent interview post Miranda, Hinson gives admissions to stabbing the victim but also alleged he does not remember his reasons for doing so," according to a police report.

Hinson, 27, was in the Duval County jail Monday, charged with at least one count of felony murder, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office records. He is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. ET on Monday.

Police said the slaying had nothing to do with Pettry being a Bears fan or any kind of football rivalry.

Friends guarded Pettry's north suburban home in Lake Villa Sunday afternoon, to protect Pettry's family.

The victim's aunt, Lillie Asbury, spoke with Fox Chicago. "He worked all the time and never did anything for himself," Asbury said. "That's why this weekend was so special to him."

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

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

Jacksonville homicide detectives were called to Fionn MacCool's restaurant regarding a stabbing at 1:40 a.m. Sunday, in the entertainment district known as "Jacksonville Landing." A phone number listed for the Irish restaurant and pub was temporarily disconnected Sunday.

"Independent eyewitnesses gave detailed accounts of the incident," according to a statement posted on the sheriff's office website earlier Monday. "Each described how the suspect cut the victim and calmly walked out of the establishment."

Jacksonville Sheriff's Officers arrested Hinson inside his truck a short while after the incident, the sheriff's office said. Investigators recovered what Schoonover described as a "little pocket knife."

Police said Hinson stabbed Pettry, and then calmly walked out of the bar. Pettry was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

A jail mugshot shows Hinson's face to be bruised and bloodied. In a posting on its Facebook page, the sheriff's office said: "The suspect got his injuries when he was arrested by police. When police made contact with him, he resisted. The injuries were not from the victim."

His family told the press that he was never one to start trouble. His death investigation continues in Florida.

Jacksonville police are expected to release more information Monday.

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 to early. Some idiot has taken his life. Im 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."

Karen Pettry also posted a poem that read:

"So hold your loved ones close today,

"And whisper in their ear,

"Tell them how much you love them

"And that you'll always hold them dear

"Take time to say ‘I'm sorry,' ‘Please

"Forgive me,' ‘thank you,' or ‘It's okay.'

"And if tomorrow never comes, You'll have no regrets about today."

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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