A celebrity photographer accused of stalking Jamie Lynn Spears and her fiance in a small Mississippi town has been arrested.
Edwin W. Merino, 30, of Los Angeles, posted bond Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in court next week.
Authorities in Liberty, a small town in southwest Mississippi near the Louisiana border, said Merino wouldn’t leave the pregnant Spears and her fiance, Casey Aldridge, alone.
Merino denied the accusations in a phone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. He said that he was about 200 feet away from the couple using a long lens when he was arrested at a gas station.
The younger Spears and Aldridge have been the subject of intense attention since she announced her pregnancy in December. She said then she was 12 weeks along, which would make the 17-year-old due any time.
Merino said he had little luck taking pictures of the couple and was preparing to leave the area.
“I’ve seen the young man Casey in pictures,” Merino said. “I haven’t worked on them myself. The first time I got a good look at him was in court.”
Spears’ family representatives did not immediately return messages Wednesday.
Merino has worked as a celebrity photographer for five years. He was one of the paparazzi who snared pictures of Jamie Lynn Spears’ older sister, Britney, without underwear.
“I just think since I was the only one there, it was just easier for them to single me out,” Merino said.
Merino’s arrest was first reported by the McComb Enterprise-Journal.
Merino said he didn’t spend any significant time in jail. A deputy drove him to three automated teller machines and he got the $1,143 he needed to be released.
In the end, Merino said the trip was a waste.
“The one picture I got was kind of by luck,” he said. “I got lucky when I saw them at Wal-Mart when I was buying deodorant.”