Family, close friends pay tribute to slain news anchor in Chesterfield Township

Five year girl is home, 10 year boy remains in hospital following eight hour surgery

A candlelight vigil was held for the family of WWJ News Anchor Jim Matthews, who was killed last week in his Chesterfield Township home. A few dozen family and friends gathered at Brandenburg Park Friday (Sept. 30) evening to pay tribute to Matthews and pray for his family members that were also injured in the attack.

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A candlelight vigil was held for the family of WWJ News Anchor Jim Matthews, who was killed last week in his Chesterfield Township home.

A few dozen family and friends gathered at Brandenburg Park Friday (Sept. 30) evening to pay tribute to Matthews and pray for his family members that were also injured in the attack.

Read: Radio news anchor killed, 4 others injured in Chesterfield Township

On Sept. 23, police found Matthews, whose legal name is Jim Nicolai, murdered in his condo in Chesterfield Township. Police say that a 54-year-old family friend attacked Matthews and his two children.

The children’s grandmother, Sonya Healy, spoke at the vigil, sharing an update on the kids’ conditions.

She said the 5-year-old girl is home and well, while Matthews’ 10-year-old son remains in the hospital following an eight-hour surgery.

“He is in critical but stable condition,” said Healy. “His eyes move when they ask him to look both ways. Every little step has been an amazing improvement.”

Read: Man charged in attempted murder-suicide that killed WWJ radio anchor, hurt 3 in Macomb County

Matthews’ brother, Joe Nicolai, believes the boy was tied up and beaten after trying to protect his father.

“He’s a brave little boy, and God bless him and keep those prayers coming,” said Nicolai.

GoFundMe page was organized to help support the children.


About the Authors:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.