Judge: State expert can evaluate murderer

28-year-old awaiting sentencing in stabbing death

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Matthew Hinson is arraigned in court.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A judge has granted a state attorney's office motion to have Matthew Hinson evaluated by its own expert.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 42-year-old William Pettry at the Jacksonville Landing last year.

The state already has doctor in Gainesville ready but will confirm the dates for the evaluation next week. The state believes the evaluation could happen within the next two weeks.

Prosecutors argued the court needed more information besides a defense expert's one-and-a-half-page report that concluded Hinson had post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol dependency.

The defense argued that the state could cross-examine its expert and even have the state's expert question him and his methods.

The defense also expressed concerns about the time it would take to do another evaluation and how harmful it would be to Hinson to relive the incidents they believed caused his PTSD.

Hinson killed Pettry at Fionn MacCool's Irish Restaurant and Pub in October. Pettry was in town for a game between the Bears and Jaguars the next day.

Hinson faces 20 years to life in prison. Prosecutors will ask for life.

Because of the perseverance of eyewitnesses and the fact several police were conducting an operation nearby, officers caught up with Hinson before he could get his pickup out of the parking garage next to the Landing after killing Pettry.

Investigators said Hinson apparently became jealous and enraged when he saw his wife talking with Pettry at the restaurant. They said he "calmly and cold-bloodedly" cut Pettry's throat, then walked out and drove away.

Pettry was a father of three young children.

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