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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Trial date set for Bath man accused of stalking commentators

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  • PHOENIX | A trial date has been set for a man charged with threating two national TV commentators via Twitter over their coverage of the Jodi Arias case.
    Investigators say 48-year-old David Lee Simpson, of Bath, N.Y., also threatened an Arizona woman. He has pleaded not guilty.
    Court records show trial is set for April 1 after a hearing in the case Thursday morning.
    Simpson was arrested by a Bath Police Department investigator as he was reportedly readying to "head south," authorities said in July. He had recently quit his job at a Bath auto-repair shop and told his employer he was planning to leave town.
    A search after the traffic stop uncovered several guns, ammunition, handcuffs, zip-ties, binoculars, a knife and a police radio, police reported.
    Simpson allegedly posted on Twitter threats to strap the newscasters to a "tree naked and leave them to suffer all night," then "slit their throats," according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Simpson also allegedly told a co-worker he wanted to hang one of the anchors by her feet and "gut her like a deer," the sheriff's office said.
    Authorities say Simpson was in Bath, N.Y., when he sent the tweets, but Arizona asserted jurisdiction since the threats were made against individuals for conduct during their coverage of a case that was occurring in Maricopa County. Authorities also say both TV personalities — Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell — were in Arizona at times.
    They're hosts on Turner Broadcasting's HLN network who covered the Arias trial.

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