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Article posted: 11/16/2012 12:05 PM

Jacksonville man pleads not guilty in death of Lake Villa-area Bears fan Pettry

By Bob Susnjara

A man has denied accusations that he killed William Christopher Pettry of Lake Villa Township while he was in Jacksonville, Fla. to watch a Bears game in October.

Matthew Reid Hinson, 27, of Jacksonville, entered the not-guilty plea to the second-degree murder charge Nov. 8, according to Duval County court records. His next court date is set for Jan. 2.

Hinson is held without bond at the Jacksonville Pretrial Detention Facility.

Pettry, 42, a married father of three children ages 5, 13 and 15, was fatally stabbed in a Jacksonville pub Oct. 7. The Jacksonville sheriff's office said Hinson slashed Pettry's throat with a pocket knife inside Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub and Restaurant about 12:30 a.m.

Hinson became "jealous" and "enraged" after seeing his wife talking to Pettry and sliced his throat while the two men sat on a bench inside the bar, according to authorities.

Nick Viverito, 42, of Chicago, has said he and longtime friend Pettry had traveled to Jacksonville to watch a Bears-Jaguars game. Viverito said he, Pettry and an older couple were at an outdoor table when Hinson's wife and a female friend asked to sit in two unoccupied chairs.

Viverito said the women were waiting for Hinson to meet them at the tavern. Viverito said there was only group conversation and they weren't hitting on the women.

Court records show Hinson's defense attorneys have requested copies of Jacksonville sheriff's office photographs and certain documents connected to the case.

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