LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Colorado transient accused of killing an Italian honeymooner and injuring 16 others when he allegedly drove his car onto the Venice Beach boardwalk has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and several other criminal charges.
Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, has been charged with 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run. He was arrested Saturday night after he turned himself into authorities.
He is accused of purposely driving his Dodge Avenger onto the popular tourist hub at speeds of more than 50 mph. Campbell, who is being held on $1.48 million bail, has an arrest record that includes offenses in four different states since 2002.
Alice Gruppioni, 32, was killed, and 16 others were injured in the crash.
Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said an autopsy determined that the cause of her death was blunt-force trauma to the head and neck, and it has been classified as a homicide.
Campbell’s public defender, Philip Dube, says the crash was not an intentional act.
“He is very saddened that an individual has lost their life. He does not believe he is a homicidal person,” Dube said.
Gruppioni’s family arrived in Los Angeles Sunday. Through their attorney, Gregory L. Bentley of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP, the family issued the following statement Tuesday:
“The family wishes to express our sincere gratitude for the thoughts and prayers from so many around the world. We appreciate the professional attention and kindness shown by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office while advising us this morning of the impending prosecution of Nathan Louis Campbell.
“We also wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe Perrone, for assisting us in expediting arrangements to allow us to bring Alice home.
“No words can adequately express the grief and sorrow we are feeling as we mourn the loss of a beautiful person, family member and young bride. Thank you all for your concerns as we begin to search for answers.”
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