Tweeting about tying Nancy Grace to a tree, stripping her naked and slitting her throat landed a 48-year-old New Yorker in Jail, Arizona officials say.
David Lee Simpson was allegedly infatuated and obsessed with convicted murderer Jodi Arias and was angered by the disparaging remarks about Arias made by Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell, both anchors for Turner Broadcasting, The Leader Corning reported.
In June, Simpson allegedly posted that he would tie Grace and Velez-Mitchell to a “tree naked and leave them to suffer all night,” then “slit their throats.” Simpson also allegedly commented that he wanted to “gut [one of the newscasters] like a deer.”
Grace and Velez-Mitchell were in Phoenix covering the Arias trial when the threats were made. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County began investigating Simpson after he became aware of the remarks.
Simpson was indicted by a Phoenix grand jury last week on charges of felony stalking and computer tampering, according to The Arizona Republic.
Arpaio told the Republic that shortly thereafter, Simpson quit his job at an auto repair shop in Bath, N.Y., and told colleagues he was leaving town.
On July 17, Simpson was arrested at a traffic stop by Bath police. A search of his vehicle turned up multiple guns, ammunition, handcuffs, zip ties, binoculars, a police radio and a news clipping about December’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn, according to KPHO.
“This suspect was on his way south with enough weapons in his car to do serious harm to someone,” Arpaio said in a statement obtained by The Leader Corning. “Fortunately, we acted quickly enough, and in doing so, were able to stop him before anything could transpire.”
Simpson waived extradition and will be brought to the Maricopa County Jail.