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‘He grabbed him by his head and slit his throat’: Girlfriend of slain news anchor provides grisly details of terrifying attack

Arthur Levan Williamson (WJBK screenshot)

Arthur Levan Williamson (WJBK screenshot)

The man accused of killing Michigan radio news anchor Jim Matthews in front of his family and critically injuring his 10-year-old son with a hammer last year will stand trial on numerous felony charges, authorities announced.

According to a press release from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, the case against Arthur Levan Williamson, 55, on Monday was bound to the Macomb County Circuit Court, where he will be tried in connection with the “senseless, vicious attack” on Matthews and his family.

He has been charged with one count of first-degree premeditated murder, one count of homicide — felony murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder, and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

The case was bound to the circuit court following a preliminary hearing featuring testimony from Matthews’ girlfriend and Nicole Guertin, 35, the mother of his two children.

Guertin was friends with Williamson, whom she called “Smokey,” and told police that she let him into their home at 4 a.m. while Matthews was at work.

Guertin on Monday revealed grisly new details about the harrowing six-hour ordeal as she provided gut-wrenching testimony for over an hour, The Detroit News reported.

Guertin said that Williamson came to the home with crack cocaine and heroin. After the two smoked crack in the bedroom, Williamson reportedly went to the garage to get a hammer, saying he needed to fix his hubcap.

When he returned, he allegedly pulled out a knife and told Guertin he wanted to “role play.”

When she refused, he allegedly slashed her throat with the knife and bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties.

“He said, ‘when Jim gets home, I’m going to kill him,'” Guertin testified, according to courtroom footage by Detroit Fox affiliate WJBK. “He said if I tried to warn [Jim] in any way, he’d kill the kids.”

Matthews and Guertin’s 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter were asleep in the house when Guertin was allegedly tied up. She then testified that she heard Matthews come home and shut the door behind him.

“I heard [Matthews] say, ‘Howdy’ and then heard him screaming, ‘What the f—?’ and screaming my name,” she told the court. “I yelled, ‘I can’t do anything. I’m tied up!'”

She said she could only watch as Matthews tried to run for the bedroom while Williamson kept “hitting him and stabbing him” with the knife and hammer.

“[Matthews] ended up in the bathroom and fell to the floor. He grabbed him by his head and slit his throat,” she said of Williamson. “Before he slit his throat, Jim said, ‘Oh god.'”

After duct-taping her to the bedpost, Guertin reportedly said that Williamson left the bedroom and returned carrying her son, whose eyes, wrists, and mouth had also been duct-taped.

When the child continued “whimpering” after Williamson told him to be quiet, he allegedly beat the child with the same hammer used to bludgeon Matthews.

“Smokey hit him in the head with a hammer,” she said, adding that she was begging him to stop. “He hit me in the head with the hammer and told me to be quiet.”

Guertin said that her daughter woke up and found Matthews’ body.

“I heard her say, ‘is that my dad? Did you kill my dad?'” Guertin testified.

Guertin testified that she had been blindfolded but heard Williamson opening bottles of lube and sexually assaulting her daughter before attempting to kill himself by overdosing on heroin, according to a report from the Macomb Daily.

Guertin said she freed herself and escaped with her daughter. The 10-year-old boy was found tied up in a closet with blunt-force trauma injuries requiring brain and ear surgery.

Police say they found Williamson shirtless in the home’s basement suffering from an apparent drug overdose. Medics administered Narcan and transported him to the hospital, where he was arrested.

Williamson had previously been convicted of breaking and entering and assaulting a police officer in 2013. He also was convicted of assault with the intent to commit murder, kidnapping, and several weapons offenses in 2002. He also has several drug offenses dating to 1993.

Assistant Prosecutor Steve Fox reportedly told the Detroit Free Press that prosecutors are confident in the case against Williamson and noted that the ongoing investigation might result in additional charges being filed.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.