Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Police Say Suspect in Fatal Venice Boardwalk Crash Confessed

About two hours after a car sped onto the Venice boardwalk and barreled through the crowd, killing an Italian honeymooner, Santa Monica police say Nathan Campbell walked into their station and confessed.

“I’m the one you’re looking for,” Campbell said, according to the front desk officer. “I hit all those people.”

Santa Monica police Officer Brent Wilkening testified Wednesday, the second day of Campbell’s preliminary hearing, that Campbell said little besides the initial confession to him just before 8 p.m. on Aug. 3.

According to Wilkening, Campbell said he had parked his car about a mile away and walked to the police station, stopping at a liquor store for a drink. As he talked with officers, he mumbled and kept his head down and shoulders slumped, Wilkening said.

The driver hit the crowd, killing Alice Gruppioni, 32. Witnesses testified that the Avenger drove around barriers and over the sidewalk to get onto the boardwalk.

Gruppioni and her husband, Christian Casedei, were on their honeymoon when she was killed. Her aunt, Katia Gruppioni, traveled more than 6,000 miles from Bologna, Italy, for some of the hearing, saying she was the only family member who could endure the “additional emotional burden” of attending. Other relatives plan to make the trip if the case goes to trial.

Campbell faces 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run, as well as one count of murder in Gruppioni’s death.

The preliminary hearing will be in recess until Dec. 17, when the next group of witnesses, many from out of the country, are expected to testify.

- LA Times


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