Driver who killed honeymooner on walkway faces long sentence

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Driver who killed Italian newlywed on Los Angeles beach boardwalk gets 42 years to life term.

LOS ANGELES – A driver who killed an Italian honeymooner and injured 17 pedestrians on a crowded Venice Beach boardwalk has been sentenced to 42 years to life in prison. Nathan Campbell’s sentence Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court came after a judge said his apology fell short of taking responsibility for his crimes. In June, Nathan Louis Campbell was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Alice Gruppioni, an Italian tourist visiting California with her husband on their honeymoon. During his trial, Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila told jurors that Campbell had “full knowledge” of how crowded Venice’s Ocean Front Walk was because surveillance footage showed him walking earlier on the popular tourist destination, and that Campbell had threatened to run over a drug dealer whom he believed had taken a friend’s money and never returned with drugs. “Defendant Campbell hit 18 pedestrians with his car, killing a young woman. In the audience, one of the victims, Judy Fox, shook her head and closed her eyes at his comments. “There are no words that could ever accurately express how truly sorry I am for what happened that day,” he said, adding he hopes that the families of the victim “will find some small measure of peace in their lives.” Deputy Dist.

Defendant created chaos and a scenario of great violence which to this date has not only traumatized the victims, but also witnesses who observed from a distance,” the prosecutor wrote in a sentencing memorandum, adding that Campbell “personally used a 3,000-pound vehicle as a deadly weapon.” Campbell’s attorney, James P. Cooper III, conceded during the trial that his client was driving the 2008 blue Dodge Avenger that barreled down the boardwalk, but said Campbell was actually doing everything he could to avoid striking pedestrians. In the nearly 2 1/2-page handwritten statement, Campbell wrote that he was “responsible for a terrible incident that has caused lasting physical pain and mental anguish for several people.” “This was not an intentional act. She wrote that she has been unable to push out the memory of Gruppioni sprawled on the concrete, her lifeless body bathed in her own blood and her husband screaming and crying helplessly.

He ruined my life.” Upset after a botched effort to buy drugs, Campbell got into his Dodge Avenger and decided to jump a curb, maneuver past barriers meant to block vehicle access and plow through the packed boardwalk, the prosecutor argued. Among them were Nancy Martinez and Jose Guiterrez, who were on a date on the boardwalk when Campbell came barreling down the walkway before striking them from behind. The Gruppioni family filed a lawsuit last year against the city and county, alleging that officials failed to provide adequate protection for pedestrians on the busy walkway.

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