Man Gets Life in Prison for Stabbing Bears Fan

Matthew Reid Hinson, 29, slashed 42-year-old William Pettry's neck with a pocket knife before a football game, according to authorities.

Saturday, Jan 11, 2014  |  Updated 10:54 AM CDT
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Matthew Reid Hinson

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A 29-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing a visiting Chicago Bears fan at a bar before a football game in 2012.

Matthew Reid Hinson, a Navy veteran, pleaded guilty last May to killing William Pettry. Authorities say Hinson slashed 42-year-old Pettry's neck with a pocket knife. Police say Pettry and a friend were talking to Hinson's wife before the stabbing happened.

Hinson apologized to Pettry's family Friday, saying he drank too much and made a "terrible judgment call."

Defense attorneys argued he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from living on a submarine. An expert for the prosecution argued Hinson's primary issue was alcohol abuse.

The Florida Times-Union reports Pettry, a married father of three, was in town to watch the Bears play the Jaguars.

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