PHOENIX (AP) – On Thursday, authorities said that a New York man indicted in Arizona on charges that he made Twitter death threats against two national TV commentators over their coverage of Jodi Arias, told detectives he was on his way to carry out one of those threats. 48-year-old David Lee Simpson of Bath, N.Y., who claims to be in love with Jodi Arias, was transported to Phoenix by Maricopa County sheriff’s officers and booked into jail Wednesday evening. According to authorities, Simpson told them late Wednesday night that “he was on his way to Georgia to kill Nancy Grace.”
Simpson was indicted by an Arizona grand jury on July 18 on three felony counts of tampering and two counts of stalking. According to a report, Simpson began tweeting on June 11, claiming that he was in fact responsible for killing Arias’ boyfriend. The following day, Simpson escalated his threats against Turner Broadcasting’s Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell, on the same day Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced that he would seek the death penalty for Arias.
Not only did Simpson admit that he was on his way to kill Nancy Grace, he also indicated that he had placed several pipe bombs in rural northern Pennsylvania: a claim that Bath police investigator Heather Barry believes to be credible. “Based on the specific details he’s provided, we believe we’re going to turn something up,” she said. She is currently working with police in Pennsylvania to locate the devices. At this point, authorities don’t see a connection between the death threats and the pipe bombs.
According to Turner Broadcasting, both Grace and Velez-Mitchell wanted to pursue charges against the man, according to the probable cause filing. Over the course of the nearly five-month trial, both commentators focused heavily on Arias’ guilt, which according to court records, angered Simpson.
One Tweet aimed at Velez-Mitchell stated “I will be waiting for you and Nancy” when Arias’ retrial begins.
In another, Simpson indicated he was in Arizona and threatened to “slit Nancy Grace’s throat.” Authorities later found that he was actually Tweeting from New York at the time.
Investigators tracked the Twitter account to Simpson and flew to New York to interview him June 25. According to the probable cause statement, Simpson “provided a full confession and stated he posted everything on Twitter because he was in love with Jodi Arias and he wanted a life with her.” At that time, he was not placed under arrest as detectives continued the investigation.
On July 15, Turner Broadcasting told detectives via email that Grace and Velez-Mitchell were receiving additional threats. “Can’t wait see you in Arizona I’m excited,” Simpson allegedly wrote.
Two days later, Simpson was taken into custody after a co-worker told police that he [Simpson] “had a loaded handgun and stated he was going to kill Nancy Grace.”
On July 20, Bath and Maricopa County authorities searched Simpson’s travel camper where they say they found two guns, a pair of handcuffs, several knives, binoculars, shotgun ammunition, a police scanner and receipts for purchases of two shotguns and a rifle.
Simpson was subsequently arrested and is awaiting arraignment in Arizona set for Aug. 1.