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Florida man gets life in prison for 2012 stabbing of Bears fan

Matthew Hinsleft Jacksonville Fla. was sentenced life prisfor stabbing death Bears fan William Pettry 42 right Lake Villa. | Jacksonville

Matthew Hinson, left, of Jacksonville, Fla., was sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death of Bears fan William Pettry, 42, right, of Lake Villa. | Jacksonville Sheriff's Dept./Facebook photos

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Updated: January 11, 2014 12:25AM

A Florida man was sentenced to life in prison Friday for stabbing a Chicago Bears fan to death in a Jacksonville, Fla., bar in 2012.

Matthew Hinson was sentenced to life for killing William “Chris” Pettry, 42, in October of 2012, said Jackelyn Barnard, of the Duval County State’s attorney’s office.

Pettry’s family rejoiced in the sentence.

“Finally the day has arrived and that SOB is in Jail for LIFE !!!!! YES LIFE,” Pettry’s widow Karen Hunt Pettry said on her Facebook page. “This is one happy mama. Happy Dance !!! Even better no parole !”

Hinson, 29, pleaded guilty last May to second-degree murder for killing the Lake Villa man, who was visiting Florida to attend a Bears-Jacksonville Jaguars game. The sentencing range was between 20 years to life in prison.

Hinson had been accused of taking out a knife and slashing Pettry in the throat after he spotted Pettry talking to Hinson’s wife. Hinson then walked calmly out of the bar with a bloody knife in his pocket, according to police

Pettry’s death brought an outpouring of support for the family, including from the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Jay Cutler provided the Pettry family with tickets and mingled with them on the field before a game.

While Hinson confessed to the stabbing, he told police he didn’t remember his reasons for doing so.

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