Widow seeks justice in husband's death

Karen Pettry claims she isn't getting information on husband's murder

William Christopher Pettry
William Christopher Pettry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – William 'Chris' Pettry, was a Chicago Bears fan in town from Illinois to watch the Bears play the Jaguars.  Now, the State Attorney's Office is prosecuting Matthew Hinson for murder.  The State Attorney's office says Hinson slashed Pettry's throat after Pettry was talking with Hinson's wife in the  bar.

Pettry's wife, Karen, said she is not only grieving and left alone to raise their kids, but she also told Channel 4 that she's getting the cold shoulder from the State Attorney's Office on what's happening in the Hinson trial.

"I guess two days ago they had a pretrial," said Pettry. "I had to go on the computer and look it up. Of course I don't understand what any of that is anyway. Had to look it up on my own and tell my family. And of course everyone contacts me because they think I'm being informed and I'm not."

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Matthew Hinson
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Matthew Hinson

Pettry said she has to rely on information that's mostly second-hand and media reports of what's going on in the case. She told Channel 4 she found out that Hinson (booking photo, right) had plead not guilty to killing her husband through the media.

In November, Pettry drafted a letter to the State Attorney's Office about waiting for information stating, "I just want the court to know that even though I cannot be there I'm hoping justice is served.  So even if we are not in the courtroom doesn't mean we are not waiting for the verdict here in Illinois."

Living in Illinois, Pettry said she feels helpless, not knowing what's happening with her husband's alleged killer.

"I just wish they were more in communication with me so I can let the family here know and don't have to hunt things down and find thing ourselves. When you read stuff I don't even know what happened," said Pettry.

William Christopher Pettry
William Christopher Pettry

Pettry wrote a letter to the State Attorney's Office last month, which said it had responded thought the matter had been addressed.

In a statement to Channel 4, a State Attorney's Office spokeswoman said said, "In the last week alone, three emails have gone back and forth between Mrs. Pettry and the SAO regarding her questions and the upcoming pre-trial hearing in the case. Mrs. Pettry had her questions answered and did not relay to us any concerns about communication with this office."

When Channel 4 spoke Pettry, she expressed a lot of concerns to us about seeking justice for her husband's murder.

"I just want to let them know we care about them even though we're not there and I just want justice," said Pettry.