Arrest made in slaying of local Bears fan in Jacksonville
Authorities say they plan to release details Monday regarding the arrest of a suspect accused of fatally stabbing a Lake Villa Township man who was in Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend to watch the Bears play.
William Christopher Pettry, 42, of unincorporated Lake County near Lake Villa, died from injuries he suffered early Sunday during a disturbance inside an Irish pub that's part of the downtown Jacksonville Landing area, according to police. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed Pettry had been in town to watch the Bears-Jaguars game.
Jacksonville sheriff's spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith said Matthew Hinson, 28, of Jacksonville, was charged with killing Pettry. Authorities said details are to be released at a news conference today.
Police were summoned to Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub and Restaurant about 1:40 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release issued by Public Information Officer Shannon Hartley. Pettry and two other patrons were involved in a disturbance inside the 5,400-square-foot establishment amid shops and other night life near the St. John's River, authorities said.
"During the incident, Mr. Pettry was stabbed by one of the (suspects) and was later pronounced deceased," Jacksonville sheriff's police said.
Fionn MacCool's manager, Paul Glaser, didn't return messages seeking comment.
In a posting on her Facebook page, Pettry's wife, Karen, expressed shock over the stabbing. She could not be reached Sunday night.
"Some idiot has taken his life," she wrote. "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."
Karen Pettry and her husband, commonly known as Chris, were involved in Mastiff breeding. The couple operated Kharisma Mastiffs from their Lake Villa Township address.
Barbara Kulm, who owns Bobaras Mastiffs in unincorporated Lake County near Round Lake, said she's known the Pettrys for about 15 years.
She said Chris Pettry was a good family man who will be missed.
"Chris was a joker," Kulm said. "To know Chris, you had a lot of fun."
Kulm said news of Pettry's death spread quickly among the Mastiff breeding community across the country Sunday. She said they are prepared to help Karen Pettry and her family in any way possible.
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