Brother of murdered WWJ anchor Jim Matthews relieved killer pleads guilty, sparing family a trial

The murder of WWJ 950 radio anchor Jim Matthews, and the attack on his family was a horrific crime - and one that hit the Metro Detroit community hard.

On Thursday Arthur Williamson pleaded no contest to the first-degree murder of Matthews, which is a life felony said Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido. 

Life for the Nicolai family - including Jim Matthews’ brother Joe - has never been the same since Sept. 23rd, 2022, when Jim, a well-respected journalist for WWJ 950 was brutally murdered.

His girlfriend, Nichole Guertin, and her two children were also brutally attacked by Williamson. Her now-11-year-old son is still undergoing physical therapy after he too was struck with a hammer and not a day goes by when Joe Nicolai doesn’t miss his brother.

"It’s been really difficult. I think about it every day, I think about it randomly every day," said Nicolai. "I have to see the house every day because he lived down the street and across the street from where I live.

"I’m really happy that (Williamson) has taken the deal and that it’s not going to go to trial. And it’s just going to be over with. It doesn’t have to be relived in the courtroom."

On Thursday, Lucido had this to say about Williamson’s decision.

"Mr. Williamson has chosen this path to have his justice without a trial and to take responsibility for his actions and to move forward," he said.

According to court reports Guertin said Jim was working the midnight shift that night. Both kids were asleep and that’s when Williamson who she referred to as "Smokey" stopped by. He came to smoke crack and bring her heroin.

She testified Williamson also brought a knife and materials to "role-play." But after refusing his request, Williamson slashed her throat, zip-tied her wrists and ankles and that was when Jim came home.

"He’s been in and out of jail as far as I know," said Nicolai. "It’s been an assault on a police officer, assault with attempted murder, gun charges, drug charges. When does our judicial system stop and say a person like that is just not functioning in society - we cannot let him out."

Also as part of his plea deal, Williamson pleaded no contest to two counts of assault with intent to murder, and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Williamson is set to be sentenced on May 31st at 9:30 a.m.

Joe Nicolai, left, top right: Jim Matthews; bottom right: killer Arthur Williamson.

Joe Nicolai, left, top right: Jim Matthews; bottom right: killer Arthur Williamson.