Man accused of threatening anchors over Arias coverage

David Lee Simpson is accused of threatening cable newscasters Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell via twitter.

Police say David Lee Simpson was upset with comments made by Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell about the Jodi Arias murder trial.

PHOENIX —  A New York man is in an Arizona jail on charges he made online threats against cable newscasters Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell because he was upset with their coverage of the Jodi Arias trial.

Maricopa County Sheriff's officers transported David Lee Simpson, 48, of Bath, N.Y., to Phoenix, and he was booked into jail Wednesday evening.

Related: Twitter reacts: Jodi Arias verdict

Man accused of threatening TV anchors over Arias trial: Jodi AriasAP Photo: The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool

Jodi Arias attends a court hearing on Tuesday, July 16.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Wednesday announced Simpson's arrest, saying he was infatuated with Arias and became upset by comments that Grace and Velez-Mitchell made about her murder trial.

The sheriff originally said he wouldn't release the TV anchors' names because Turner Broadcasting had asked his agency to withhold their identities. But Arpaio released a statement Wednesday that identified Grace and Velez-Mitchell as the target of the threats Simpson is accused of making on Twitter.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Brandon Jones said the anchors' names were released because a news organization had already identified them as the victims.

A Turner Broadcasting official declined to comment on any aspect of the case.

Arpaio said investigators found guns, handcuffs and other items in Simpson's car after he was arrested by Bath police and one of Arpaio's deputies who traveled there.

It wasn't immediately clear why Arpaio's office has jurisdiction in the case.

Earlier this year, a Maricopa County jury convicted Arias of murdering former boyfriend Travis Alexander, but jurors later deadlocked in the sentencing phase of her trial. A new jury could be impaneled to decide sometime in late September whether Arias should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

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