Trial date set for man in Jodi Arias stalking case
David Lee Simpson, 48, of Bath, NY, is facing several charges, including stalking and computer tampering. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
MCSO booking photo. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
David Simpson arrives at Maricopa County Jail. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A New York man accused of making online threats against cable newscasters because he was upset with their coverage of the Jodi Arias trial will stand trial April 1.
David Simpson admitted he was headed to Georgia to kill Nancy Grace, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
Simpson was in court Thursday for a pretrial conference.
Arpaio said Simpson, of Bath, NY, admitted to Arizona authorities he was en route to Georgia to kill Grace by "putting a knife" between her legs and slicing her to death.
Officers escorted Simpson to Phoenix, where the 48-year-old suspect was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail.
After landing on a flight from Philadelphia, Simpson also admitted that he had placed three pipe bombs in a Pennsylvania river.
He was apprehended by local authorities in New York after quitting his job at an auto repair shop and telling co-workers he was "leaving town."
Authorities stopped him while he was driving southbound out of New York in a vehicle filled with guns, ammunitions, police radios, cell phones, binoculars, knives as well as news clippings of the Newtown, CT, school shooting, the New York shooting of firefighters and a bestiality arrest of a woman in Phoenix by sheriff's deputies.
"And he's leaving town heading south. Where you think he was going? He wasn't going hunting. Not for deer," said Arpaio.
Investigators say he's obsessed with Arias, and didn't like how Grace and Velez-Mitchell covered the trial.
During the court proceedings, Simpson tweeted out, of Velez-Mitchell and Grace, that he wanted to tie them to a tree naked and leave them all night to suffer before "slitting their throats."
Scottsdale psychologist Doctor Richard Samuels was among several witnesses who were threatened. Samuels tells CBS 5 News, he feels the sheriff's office worked diligently to get to the bottom of the threats.
"Like every threat, we took this one very seriously," Arpaio said. "But I was especially concerned about this one because of the vulnerability of TV anchors and reporters who are so often in the public eye."
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