Man Who Killed Radio Anchor, Tortured His Family Gets Life

Jim Matthews' killer pleads no contest
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
'Rare' Plea in Murder of Detroit Radio Anchor
Jim Matthews   (WWJ/Facebook)

In a move an assistant prosecutor called "fairly rare," the man who murdered Detroit radio anchor Jim Matthews last year has pleaded no contest to multiple counts including first-degree premeditated murder and will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Arthur Williamson, 55, was friends with Nichole Guertin, Matthews' girlfriend, who was attacked along with the couple's two children on the day Williamson murdered Matthews, the Detroit Free Press reports. Guertin testified in February that at the time of the attack, she considered Williamson, whom she'd known about two years, her best friend. She said he'd called in the middle of the night asking to come over and that he'd never exhibited violence around her or her family before. As Matthews' return from the midnight shift loomed and she also needed to take their kids to school, she asked Williamson to leave and he got violent, Fox 2 Detroit reports.

She and Williamson, who did drugs together and had had an intimate relationship of which Matthews was aware, had done heroin and crack cocaine that day, she testified. He attacked her with a knife and told her, "When Jim gets home, I’m gonna kill him." He also attacked the children, she testified, recounting how her daughter freed Guertin from her bindings and the two ran for help. The assistant prosecutor says you don't often see a plea deal for a first-degree murder charge and he doesn't know what prompted Williamson to plead that way, but either way, "Mr. Williamson is no longer someone that's going to put Nichole and family members through the trauma of trial." The children both survived and currently live with an aunt. Williamson was also convicted of two counts of assault with intent to murder and three counts of unlawful imprisonment. He will be sentenced next month. (More Detroit stories.)

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