March 7, 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

Trader Joe’s Eyes Another Santa Monica Space

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

Grocery store interested in space across the street from new Target By Sam Catanzaro Another major retailer may open in...

More Coastal Housing for the Westside?

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

More affordable housing may be coming to Westside coastal neighborhoods. Learn more in this video made possible by School of...

Edify TV: Westside High-Rise Nears Completion

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

A Westside high-rise checking in at over 30 stories is nearing has topped-out, the first building of this size built...

Police Union Considering Suing City of Santa Monica Over Lack of Citizen Commission Inclusion

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

By Toi Creel ] The City of Santa Monica’s Police union is fighting to be included in a committee meant...

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

Santa Monica Teachers Begin Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations Ahead of Campuses Reopening

March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

SMMUSD partners with Providence St. John’s Health Center to vaccinate certain educators and staff By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica-Malibu Unified...

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from homelessness to...

Santa Monica Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Seniors Near Palisades Park

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Two elderly woman robbed along Ocean Avenue recently By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating two thefts targeting senior...

Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun: Santa Monica Beat – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun * City...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...