Jim Matthews: Suspect charged with murder of Detroit radio news anchor and attack on his family

Jim Matthews: Suspect charged with murder of Detroit radio news anchor and attack on his family

Michigan police have charged a suspect in the murder of Detroit radio news anchor Jim Matthews.

Arthur Williamson, 55, is allegedly behind the attack on Matthews and his family on Friday, Chesterfield Director of Public Safety Brian Bassett said during a press conference Monday. Mr Williamson was charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder, and three counts of unlawful imprisonment, court records show.

Matthews, 57, the overnight news anchor at WWJ-AM radio station for nearly seven years, was pronounced dead on the scene, while his 35-year-old girlfriend suffered multiple stabbing injuries. She is in stable condition, Chesterfield Police said.

She managed to flee the scene with their five-year-old daughter, who suffered minor injuries. The couple’s 10-year-old son was found tied up in a closet with trauma to his head and is in critical but stable condition.

Mr Williamson, who was found in the basement of the residence, was taken to a hospital after he tried to kill himself following the attack, police said. During his arraignment on Monday, he entered a not guilty plea and was ordered without bond, ABC reported.

Arthur Williamson is facing murder charges in Macomb County (Michigan Department of Corrections)
Arthur Williamson is facing murder charges in Macomb County (Michigan Department of Corrections)

Mr Williamson has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for kidnapping and assault with intent to murder. He was released on parole in January after serving seven years in jail for the assault of a law enforcement officer.

The prosecution’s office said that additional charges could be brought against Mr Williamson as the investigation continues. Authorities said the attack was not the result of a break-in and that Mr Williamson was not unknown to the family.

He reportedly arrived sometime during the middle of the night and “was welcomed in as the guest of the home.” Matthews then arrived at the residence around 6am on 23 September. After the attack, Matthews’s partner, Nicole Guertin, fled the scene “covered in blood” and with their younger child in arms.

A driver who was flagged down by Ms Guertin called 911 around noon and authorities responded to the scene. Mr Bassett said Matthews was found dead at the scene.

The suspect was found in the basement with self-inflicted wounds and experiencing an apparent overdose.

“I believe that [the boy] was trying to fight off this man that was attacking and trying to kill his father, and that’s how [the boy] ended up injured and tied and put into a closet,” Joe Nicolai, the brother of the victim, told 7 Actions News.

Mr Nicolai said that Ms Guertin was found by his wife, who then called him to inform him about the attack.

“Nicole, my brother’s girlfriend, was laying out in the parking lot and was duck-taped and bleeding so my wife went out to hold her hand,” he added.

The family has created a GoFundMe to raise funds for medical bills and expenses as the children and their mother recover from the attack.

Ashley Quigley, Ms Guertin’s sister, said that her nephew has undergone two successful brain and ear surgeries, but he continues to be sedated.

“I and my husband are taking care of my niece and advocated for my nephew as he goes through the biggest challenge he has yet to face; recovering from a vicious, needless attack,” Ms Quigley said.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.