Man Charged With Murder In Venice Beach Boardwalk Crash
The man accused of purposely crashing his car into a group of pedestrians on a Venice Beach boardwalk has been charged with murder.
Nathan Louis Campbell is accused of intentionally driving his Dodge Avenger through the boardwalk Saturday. An Italian woman on her honeymoon was killed, and 16 others were injured. All of the people injured had left the hospital by Monday afternoon.
An autopsy of 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni, the Italian newlywed, revealed that she died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Gruppioni was the daughter of a former president of a premier Italian soccer club, according to NBC News.
The 38-year-old pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance in court. Public defender Philip Dube said Campbell was deeply sorry for the crash and that it was an accident.
“I don’t believe he intentionally tried to hit anybody,” Dube said.
Witnesses tell a different story. One person said Campbell turned down the center of the boardwalk and started to accelerate.
“That guy’s intention was to kill people,” Landon Blackburn said.
Another witness said it looked like Campbell was trying to hit as many people as possible.
Campbell was arrested after he turned himself into police two hours after the crash. He is being held on $1 million bail. In addition to murder, he faces 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run. A motive is still unknown.
Nathan Louis Campbell has a long history of arrests, including reckless driving. He also pleaded guilty to public drunkenness in Santa Monica in 2002, and reckless driving with alcohol in Panama City Beach, Florida, in April 2008. Campbell also spent five in days in jail after he tried to steal a pair of headphones from a Virgin Megastore in February 2009. He also has a history of alcohol and drug addiction.
Nathan Louis Campbell faces life in prison if convicted.