Sports
Sports

Guilty plea in fatal stabbing of Bears fan in Florida

A Florida man faces a possible life sentence after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing a Lake County man who flew to Jacksonville for a Chicago Bears game last fall, authorities said.

Matthew R. Hinson, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and faces sentencing May 28, according to court records. His sentence could range from 20 years to life, Florida prosecutors said.

Hinson was charged with killing William Pettry, a 42-year-old married father of three from Lake Villa, at an Irish-themed restaurant and bar packed with Bears fans early on Oct. 7, the day the team took on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Police said Hinson apparently grew angry after seeing Pettry talking to his wife.

A friend who was with Pettry in Florida and saw him lying wounded after the attack said he was glad Hinson pleaded guilty. Nick Viverito, of Chicago, said he was relieved that Pettry’s family and friends wouldn’t have to sit through a trial and relive the murder. Viverito hopes Hinson is sentenced to life and never paroled.

“My friend’s family is never going to get to see him again,” Viverito said.

Viverito has said that he and Pettry spoke cordially with Hinson, his wife and others before the attack. Pettry and Hinson were seen sitting together on a bench before Hinson drew a knife and slashed Pettry’s throat, police said. A waitress found Viverito in another area of the restaurant and he rushed over to find his friend dying, he said.

Hinson was arrested a few moments later as he pulled out of the restaurant parking lot in his truck, police said.

Seven months have passed, but Viverito hasn’t made sense of Pettry’s sudden death, he said.

“I think about it almost every day,” he said. “I don’t think it’s ever going to make sense.”

dawilliams@tribune.com

dhinkel@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...

Comments
Loading
75°