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A 57-year-old Detroit radio anchor was killed by a "family friend" wielding a hammer over the weekend in an incident that also left his partner and their two children hospitalized.
WWJ-AM NewsRadio radio host Jim Matthews was identified by the station as the lone casualty in the incident, which also left three of his family members hospitalized on Friday. Police have characterized the alleged attack as an attempted murder-suicide.
On Sept. 23, police were dispatched to Hidden Harbor Condominiums in Chesterfield Township home after reports of a domestic dispute, according to The Detroit News.
According to police, witnesses claimed to have seen a woman victim fleeing the residence “covered in blood” and carrying a small child, according to police. She later flagged down a motorist, who called police, per the Associated Press.
When the arrived, Matthews was discovered dead inside the home. He had been bludgeoned to death with a hammer, Macomb Daily reported, citing prosecutors.
Matthews' 35-year-old girlfriend, Nicole Guertin, suffered several stab wounds in the incident, Chesterfield Township Public Safety Director Brian Bassett said. The couple's 10-year-old son was found tied up in a closet with blunt force trauma to his head, the Associated Press reported. Their 5-year-old girl sustained unspecified injuries.
According to relatives who started a GoFundMe, the couple's 10-year-old son remains in critical condition and since underwent brain and ear surgery. The family described the operation as successful. The girl was released to the care of her aunt, Guertin's sister, as Guertin also remains hospitalized.
Matthews’ exact cause of death hasn’t been released. Investigators also haven’t yet specified a possible motive in the case. Police described the suspect as a “family friend” and “frequent visitor” to Matthews’ home, per The Macomb Daily.
Arthur Levan Willamson, 55, who police identified as the accused attacker, was found suffering from self-inflicted injuries in the basement of the home, the Detroit News reported. The man had also apparently attempted to also overdose himself, police said. He was later treated in hospital for a heroin overdose, The Macomb Daily reported.
Williamson was arraigned on seven felony charges in New Baltimore District Court on Monday. He's facing charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder and three counts of unlawful imprisonment, per the Detroit News.
The 55-year-old is being held at a Macomb County detention facility, according to jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. He's scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in District Court in New Baltimore. Attorney information wasn't immediately available for him.
Williamson has prior convictions for kidnapping, assault, assault with intent to commit murder, illegal weapons possession, narcotics-related charges and for for assaulting, resisting, or obstructing a police officer, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. His parole for a breaking and entering conviction ended in January.
Matthews worked at Detroit’s WWJ NewsRadio 950 AM for almost seven years, according to the station. His co-workers said Matthews was the father of the two children who were injured in the incident.
“He would often speak with his co-workers about his love for his two children, and their adventures at school,” the outlet wrote in a post on Facebook.
“He loved delivering the latest news to his listeners, and was incredibly dedicated to WWJ and the broadcasting industry. There have been many tears shed in our newsroom today and Jim will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for Matthews’ family and his two surviving children.
“There is nothing that can be done to erase the trauma Jim's children have gone through and will go through, both physically and mentally,” fellow WWJ radio host and colleague Zach Clark wrote on Facebook. “No amount of money can reverse time. But we can help them.”
Clark, who anchors ‘The Daily J’ on WWJ Newsradio, described Matthews as an “endearing” newsman, a “wonderful dad” and a “good dude” who was “quiet but quick to laugh.”
No other information was immediately released by authorities. The Chesterfield Police Department didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s requests for comment on Monday morning.
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