A Detroit man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a news anchor and attacking his family last year.
Arthur Williamson, 55, received the sentence from Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat on Thursday, WWJ-AM reported. Williamson had pleaded no contest to the September 2022 killing of Detroit news anchor Jim Matthews.
Biernat called Williamson the “embodiment of evil” during sentencing, adding, “The only thing that’s amazing is you didn’t kill all of them.”
Williamson had been charged with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, and unlawful imprisonment. He initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to no contest, which contains no admission of guilt but is considered guilty for purposes of sentencing.
Matthews worked as the overnight anchor at Detroit radio station WWJ-AM for the seven years prior to his death. On September 23, 2022, Matthews was killed, his girlfriend Nicole Guertin and his 5-year-old daughter were both hospitalized, and his 10-year-old son was in critical condition after apparently trying to fight off the attacker.
Police received a call that afternoon from Guertin, who said she had been violently attacked in her home and that she and her daughter had “escaped.” Matthews’ brother, Joe Nicolai, told WXYZ-TV at the time that Guertin had apparently been restrained before she could escape.
“Nicole, my brother’s girlfriend, was laying out in the parking lot and was duct-taped and bleeding so my wife went out to hold her hand,” Nicolai told the outlet. “It’s not even something you’d see in a horror movie.”
Guertin testified in court that Williamson had come over to their house the night of the murder to smoke crack cocaine. He also brought heroine, she said. She said she refused when Williamson asked her to role play and tie herself up, at which point Williamson slashed her throat and zip-tied her wrists and ankles, according to The Detroit News.
Matthews arrived home from a late shift at the station and was promptly hit with a hammer and stabbed. Guertin said she was able to escape with their 5-year-old daughter and find help.
Their 10-year-old son, who was released from the hospital following his injuries, wrote a victim impact statement.
“I hate you for what you did to me and my family,” the boy wrote, according to CBS News. “You put me and my mom and my sister through hours of hell. You are evil.”
Williamson knew the family and was a frequent visitor in their home, police told media outlets. He was found in the home’s basement with a self-inflicted wound and an apparent overdose, Law & Crime reported.