Convicted Felon Arraigned In Murder Of WWJ Radio Anchor


He has a criminal history dating back three decades and is a convicted felon. Yet, he was described as a family friend who was invited into the home of WWJ-AM in Detroit overnight anchor Jim Matthews, whose legal name is Jim Nicolai, on Friday.

That visit proved to be a fatal one for Matthews, and a traumatic ordeal for his girlfriend and their family. On Monday, the individual authorities believed to have carried out the horrific acts to Matthews and those he resided with was arraigned in a Macomb County, Mich., district court.

Pontiac, Mich., resident Arthur Levan Williamson, aged 55, was charged with seven felony counts in the “42-2 District Court” of New Baltimore, Mich., The Detroit News reported late Monday (9/26). The charges against Williamson include first-degree murder, felony murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Williamson is the individual who authorities say fatally stabbed Matthews, aged 57, inside his Chesterfield Township, Mich., home. According to Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido, Williamson carried out a “hammer attack.” Matthews’ older brother, a plumbing contractor named Joe Nicolai, happens to live next door to him; he confirmed Williamson had been at the Matthews home before. Indeed, there were no signs of breaking and entering the Matthews home.

Investigators are now trying to establish a formal timeline and motive for the acts Williamson carried out.

Matthews early Friday was at WWJ, a 40-minute drive away in Southfield, Mich., to the northwest of downtown Detroit. While hosting the overnight shift, Williamson arrived at the Matthews home. Matthews arrived home close to 6am. Between then and Noon, when the police were called, the timeline is still not known.

The gruesome details are, based on the accounts of Matthews’ live-in girlfriend. She escaped the family home with their five-year-old daughter at around Noon. Jim Matthews was found dead. A 10-year-old boy was discovered bound in a closet, with severe injuries from blunt force trauma. As of Monday evening he was in critical but stable condition at an area medical center. “After some tests and scans, his neck was deemed okay,” the aunt of the children, Ashley Quigley, shared in a post on a GoFundMe page she established to support her niece and nephew. “He was able to take off his C-Collar which helped make the swelling in his face go down. He is still sedated while he heals, but he can move both sides of his body.”

How Williamson is connected to Matthews and his girlfriend’s family is believed to be through a friend of Jim Matthews’ domestic partner. The brother of Jim Matthews told The Detroit News Williamson and the friend, Nicole Guertin, connected at a “support and recovery group.”

Today, Williamson is in an area hospital recovering from a suicide attempt by drug overdose. He was discovered in the basement of the Matthews home.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Williamson has a record dating to 1993 that includes convictions for kidnapping and assault with intent to commit murder. The Detroit News says Williamson was on parole on a breaking and entering conviction out of Clinton County, Mich., until January 2022.


As the news unfolded, the staff of Audacy Corp.-owned WWJ NewsRadio went into reporting and investigation mode, just as the two big newspapers in Detroit and local television news did. Only, WWJ was covering a story involving one of their own.

Joe Nicolai, the brother of Jim Matthews, spoke with WWJ’s Charlie Langton on Monday morning to thank those who had already reached out in support.

The GoFundMe page quickly established by Ashley Quigley by Sunday morning reached its initial goal of raising $10,000 in donations. As of Tuesday morning, it has surpassed $15,250; one individual donated $2,500; nationally recognized Country syndicated radio host Ty Bentli, whose program is syndicated by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, donated $200. “Anything donated is going to these two kids,” Quigley said in the initial request for support. “They have been through so much and I feel like the least I can do is create something that helps them adapt to what comes after this tragedy.”

Matthews had been WWJ’s overnight anchor for seven years.

“He was a consummate professional and was dedicated to WWJ and the broadcasting industry. He loved delivering the latest news to his listeners,” the station said in a statement. “There have been many tears shed in our newsroom this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family and friends.”