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Defendant in murder of Bears fan pleads 'not guilty'

Matthew Reid Hinson of Jacksonville, Fla. has pled not guilty to the charge of murdering Illinois resident and Bears fan William "Christopher" Pettry on Oct. 7.

Mike Ehrmann

The man who allegedly stabbed a Chicago Bears fan in Jacksonville, Fla. on Oct. 7 pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge on Thursday, per ESPN Chicago.

Matthew Reid Hinson, 27, is accused of fatally wounding William "Christopher" Pettry, a 42-year-old resident of Lake Villa, Ill., at a Jacksonville-area restaurant the morning of the game between the Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. Hinson has been ordered to remain in jail until the trial, which is set to begin in March 2013.

Although Hinson's charge is of the second-degree variety, Assistant State Attorney Jeff Moody has not ruled out pushing for the charge to be upgraded to first-degree murder, according to the article.

Through all of the events, the Bears have shown a tremendous amount of support for the Pettry family. Tight end Kellen Davis and his agent were responsible for a fundraiser to help Pettry's wife and children, while quarterback Jay Cutler hosted the family at the Bears' game against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 22.