August 3, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Venice Boardwalk Rampage Suspect Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder:

A Colorado man who drove his car on the crowded Venice boardwalk, striking several pedestrians and killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon, was convicted today of second-degree murder and other charges.

Nathan Louis Campbell’s attorney conceded during the trial that his 39-year-old client was driving the 2008 blue Dodge Avenger that barreled down the boardwalk on Aug. 3, 2013, but said Campbell was actually doing everything he replica watches could to avoid striking pedestrians.

In addition to the murder count, Campbell was also convicted of 17 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 10 counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

Jurors deliberated about three days before reaching their verdict.

The verdict came shortly after the prosecution decided to try to “assist the jury to render a decision on second-degree murder” by removing an allegation of premeditation and deliberation, according to Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila.

Campbell is due back before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano for sentencing Aug. 5. He is facing a potential life prison term.

In re-arguments before the jury this morning, Avila told the seven- woman, five-man jury, “He (Campbell) could have stopped this whole thing at the very beginning … He hits 12 people before he even hits Alice.”

Defense attorney James P. Cooper III countered that there was not sufficient evidence of an intent to kill, calling it a “tragic unfolding of events.”

In opening statements, Avila told the jury that Campbell was angry because he believed a drug dealer had cheated his friend and threatened to run the dealer over.

Instead, Campbell struck 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni and 17 other people with his car, with the Italian woman “on the hood of his car for over 300 feet” before her body slid off, the prosecutor said.

Campbell had “full knowledge” of how crowded Venice’s Ocean Front Walk was because surveillance footage showed him walking on the popular tourist destination earlier that day, the deputy district attorney said.

Campbell walked into the Santa Monica Police Department a few hours after the driving on the boardwalk and said, “I’m the one you’re looking for. I’m the one who hit all those people,” the prosecutor said.

A blood test performed at 2:26 a.m. — hours after the car careened down the boardwalk — showed Campbell’s blood-alcohol content at 0.09, just over the legal limit, Avila said.

Campbell’s attorney countered that his client was not a party to the drug transaction. He acknowledged that Campbell drove onto the boardwalk — although he did not explain why — but said the car struck several objects before hitting any people.

“He did avoid hitting many more people by taking that S-like route down the boardwalk,” the defense attorney said.

In emotional testimony last month, Christian Casadei told jurors through an Italian interpreter that he was holding his new wife’s hand when he spotted the car careening through the crowd.

Casadei said he tried to pull Gruppioni into a doorway to avoid being struck.

“After that, I felt, like, a hit. I closed my eyes and when I opened them back up, I was on the ground,” the newlywed said.

“I was screaming her name … I thought she had fled, but I wasn’t able to find her,” he told jurors.

Casadei said he finally found her “lying on the ground, face-down on the asphalt with blood next to her head and that’s it … she was not moving.”

Casadei said he took her by the hand as she struggled to breathe, but she was unable to say anything to him.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica’s UCLA Hospital Ranks No. 1 in State, No. 3 in Nation

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Highest set of rankings ever for UCLA Health  By Sam Catanzaro UCLA Health hospitals have ranked No. 1 in both...

La County Health Lifts Water Advisory For Santa Monica Beaches: Santa Monica Beat – August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * La County Health Lifts Water Advisory For Santa Monica Beaches *...

Man Killed in Santa Monica Hit and Run

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

Fatality occurs early Monday morning on Santa Monica Boulevard By Sam Catanzaro A man was killed in a hit and...

Millions of Gallons of Partially Treated Sewage Continue to be Discharged Into Santa Monica Bay

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant still not operating at full efficiency following July spill  By Sam Catanzaro Three weeks after a...

Library Director Patty Wong to Leave Santa Monica

July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) Director Patty Wong announced recently that she will leave Santa Monica to take on the...

City Council Prioritizes Housing for Historically Displaced Households

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

At its meeting on July 13, Santa Monica City Council made changes to Santa Monica’s Affordable Housing Production Program and...

Homeless Man Charged with Hate Crime in Assault of Korean Woman in Santa Monica

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Melvin Taylor faces charges in connection to July 23 incident By Sam Catanzaro Hate crime charges have been filed against...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs, Claims no Wrongdoing

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa...

Two Arrested for Main Street Bike Shop Burglary

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

Two suspects were arrested for the burglary of a Main Street bike store after the owner witnessed the crime via...

Council Selects Berkeley Deputy City Manager to Helm Santa Monica

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

David White to be Santa Monica’s next City Manager starting in October  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has...

Ocean Park Library Set to Reopen

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New self-service hours begin July 28 By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Ocean Park Branch is set to...

Police Tase Suspect Following Santa Monica Beach Stabbing

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

32-year-old man arrested Sunday evening on Santa Monica Beach, suffers head injuries in arrest By Sam Catanzaro As part of...

Santa Monica Beat: Santa Monica Beat – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Serial Killer Arrested by SMPD Sentenced to Death * New Grants...