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Man sentenced to life in prison for killing Detroit news anchor Jim Matthews with hammer, attacking his family

Man charged in killing of WWJ anchor Jim Matthews pleads no contest
Man charged in killing of WWJ anchor Jim Matthews pleads no contest 02:00

A Detroit-area man has been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal killing of radio news anchor Jim Matthews and attack on the anchor's family.

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat called Arthur Williamson the "embodiment of evil" Thursday during sentencing in Mount Clemens, according to WWJ-AM.

"The only thing that's amazing is you didn't kill all of them," Biernat said.

Jim Matthews WWJ

Williamson of Pontiac pleaded no contest in April to first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and unlawful imprisonment. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is used as such at sentencing.

Matthews, a WWJ-AM overnight anchor, was found bludgeoned with a hammer in Chesterfield Township, northeast of Detroit, in September.

Authorities have said Williamson, 55, was a friend of Matthews' girlfriend, Nichole Guertin. Guertin and the 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter she shared with Matthews were injured. The boy was also struck in the head with the hammer and left tied up in a closet.

Guertin testified that Matthews was working a late shift when Williamson came to their home to smoke crack cocaine and bring heroin. Guertin said that when she refused to role play and tie herself up, Williamson slashed her throat and zip-tied her wrists and ankles, The Detroit News reported.

When Matthews arrived home, he was struck with a hammer and stabbed. Guertin escaped with their 5-year-old daughter and asked someone to call the police.

Matthews' and Guertin's son wrote in a victim impact statement to the court that Williamson ruined their lives.

"I hate you for what you did to me and my family," the boy wrote. "You put me and my mom and my sister through hours of hell. You are evil."

When given the opportunity to speak, Williamson simply said: "I'm sorry."

Matthews' brother Joe Nicolai and his wife Jennifer told WWJ-AM they don't believe Williamson is truly remorseful.

"I have no forgiveness for him," Joe Nicolai said. "You can't forgive something like that."

"The only sound we got was 'I'm sorry,' and that was it," Jennifer Nicolai said. "There was no looking back at us and caring about what he did to our family and how he changed it forever."

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