David Lee Simpson, 48, has been arrested and charged with three counts of computer tampering and two counts of stalking after making threats toward two news anchors covering the Jodi Arias trial.
Police learned that Simpson quit his job in Bath, New York, and was pulled over by authorities as he was leaving town. They found multiple guns, handcuffs, zip ties, and a news clipping about the shooting in Newtown, Conn. in the vehicle. Authorities have not said whether they believe Simpson was headed to Arizona to fulfill his threats but plan to learn more as he is held in custody.
"Evidently, Simpson was infatuated with Jodi Arias. He told an employee where he worked previously that he wanted to hang the commentator by her feet and gut her like a deer. These were some of the tweets that came over," Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference.
Simpson will be transferred to Arizona to face charges, which ironically, will put him closer to Arias. She is already behind bars, awaiting a new trial in the sentencing phase for the first-degree murder of Travis Alexander. Arias' case riveted the nation, and she made a name for herself by taking the stand for 18 days of testimony, using Twitter to offer her own comments about the trial, and selling her artwork online.
The jury that found Arias guilty of murder was unable to agree on whether she should receive life in prison or the death penalty. After several days, they were dismissed and a new jury could be convened in September; Arias' lawyers have tried to get the prosecution to agree to a plea deal, but that has not been successful. They also asked that the new trial not start until January so that Arias could ask friends and family to testify on her behalf.
Arias is next due in court on August 26 to learn whether she will indeed face the death penalty or whether that option has been taken off the list for a new jury.