- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A New York man was arrested for stalking two news anchors in Phoenix while they were covering the Jodi Arias trial, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a press release.

The sheriff’s office said David Lee Simpson, 48, was obsessed with the convicted murderess and was angered by the way the female anchors covered the trial, KTAR reported.

Simpson reportedly sent tweets to the anchors, who have not been identified, threatening to strap them to a “tree naked and leave them to suffer all night” and “slit their throats,” the station reported.

“Threats against anyone have to be taken seriously,” Mr. Arpaio said. “Media personalities are frequent targets and because of their high visibility, they are particularly vulnerable. A few in the past have been stalked and murdered.”

Simpson was arrested in Bath, N.Y., after a monthlong investigation. He was found in possession of guns, ammunition, handcuffs, zip-ties, binoculars, a knife and a police radio, KTAR reported. He also collected several newspaper clippings of shootings, including some about Sandy Hook Elementary School, the station said.

“This suspect was on his way south with enough weapons in his car to do serious harm to someone,” Mr. Arpaio added. “Fortunately, we acted quickly and in so doing, were able to stop him before anything could transpire.”

Simpson was charged with three felony counts of computer tampering and two felony counts of stalking.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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