Man pleads no contest to charges in Macomb County attack that killed WWJ radio anchor, hurt his family

Jim Nicolai, who went by ‘Jim Matthews’ on WWJ 950, killed in Sept.

WWJ radio anchor Jim Matthews, whose legal name was Jim Nicolai. (WWJ)

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The man charged with murder, assault and more in the violent attack that killed a WWJ-AM radio news anchor and hurt his girlfriend and children last year has pleaded no contest to the charges.

UPDATE: Pontiac man gets life in prison for murder of WWJ radio anchor at his Macomb County home

Arthur Levan Williamson, 55, of Pontiac, on Thursday pleaded no contest to charges related to the Sept. 23, 2022, killing of Jim David Nicolai, who went by “Jim Matthews” while working as an overnight news anchor for WWJ 950. Williamson faced seven charges for the attack that also hurt Nicolai’s 10-year-old son, and his girlfriend and their 5-year-old daughter at their Chesterfield Township home.

Pleading no contest means that Williamson accepts conviction for all of the charges, but does not admit any guilt. He was initially bound over for trial in February this year, but is now scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.

Arthur Levan Williamson (Macomb County Sheriff's Office)

Here’s what happened

The attack took place inside Nicolai’s home within the Hidden Harbor condo complex near Jefferson Avenue and Hooker Road, according to authorities.

Williamson was reportedly welcomed as a guest into the home sometime overnight before Nicolai returned around 6 a.m. At some point between 6 a.m. and noon, Williamson started to attack the family with a hammer, authorities said.

Nicolai’s 35-year-old girlfriend and their 5-year-old daughter escaped the condo during the attack and flagged down a car for help. When police arrived, they found Nicolai dead from blunt force trauma injuries.

Nicolai’s 10-year-old son was found tied up inside a closet with serious head injuries. He had been “left for dead” after he tried to fight off Williamson while his father was being attacked, according to police. He underwent ear and brain surgery.

The 35-year-old woman was found outside with stab wounds all over her body. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but later upgraded to stable.

Her daughter was treated at the hospital and released, police said.

Williamson was found in the basement of the home with self-inflicted injuries, officials said. He had also overdosed, but survived. Officials treated him at the scene and then took him to a nearby hospital.

Williamson’s charges

Williamson was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, felony murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder, and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

The first three charges are potential life felonies. Each count of unlawful imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Williamson was bound over to the Macomb County Circuit Court on Feb. 27 and was held without bond. After changing his plea to no contest on April 20, he is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on May 31.

About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.