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David Lee Simpson, 48, of New York, was indicted in Arizona on charges that he made Twitter death threats against two national TV commentators over their coverage of Jodi Arias, whom he claims to be in love with, told detectives he was on his way to kill one of them, authorities said Thursday. Maricopa County sheriff’s officers transported Simpson to jail in Phoenix July 24, the Associated Press reported.
An Arizona grand jury indicted him July 18 on three felony counts of computer tampering and two counts of stalking.
According to a probable cause statement from the Sheriff’s Office, Simpson began his tweets June 11 claiming he was responsible for the killing of Arias’ boyfriend.
The threats against Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell, both hosts of shows on Turner Broadcasting’s HLN network, grew more serious June 12, the same day Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he planned to try again to secure the death penalty for Arias.
A jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder May 8 in the June 2008 death of boyfriend Travis Alexander at his suburban Phoenix home. The same panel later failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence her to life in prison or death. Prosecutors now have the option of pursuing a new penalty phase aiming for the ultimate punishment, or avoiding it and leaving Arias with a life sentence.