JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville man who killed a visiting Chicago Bears fan at The Landing will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Months of face-to-face contact with the murderer that took the life of their family member has finally ended.
Matthew Hinson was hit with a life sentence Friday night for the brutal slaying of William "Chris" Pettry in October 2012, the harshest sentence the judge could impose. "We couldn't have asked for anything more. We asked for life and that's what he got," said Pettry's sister, Veronica.
During the 11-hour hearing, Hinson boldly took the stand and apologized for slashing Pettry's throat at Fionn MacCool's, but still tried justifying his actions that night at The Landing.
"Someone that night grabbed me. I don't know who it is but they put their hands on me. It was not my intention to kill this man," said Hinson.
The family said they don't buy it, calling out his lack of sincerity.
"It's how and what was done. He's fractured all of our hearts," said Pettry's mother, Carylin Hedstrom.
Overcome by emotions, Pettry's oldest daughter Alexandria stood by their attorney while he read the letter she wrote to her father's killer. In it, she described how painful it is knowing her dad will never see her grow into a young woman.
She and the rest of the Pettry family said they're getting the closure they need now to move on.
"I think they feel relieved they don't have to worry about him getting out, looking over their shoulder," said Veronica Pettry.