Driver Pleads Not Guilty|to Boardwalk Murder

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Colorado man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he ran over and killed an Italian honeymooner and hurt 16 pedestrians by intentionally driving his car down the busy Venice Beach boardwalk.
     Los Angeles County prosecutors charged 38-year-old Nathan Campbell with murder, assault against 16 victims with a deadly weapon – his 2008 Dodge Avenger – and 17 counts of hit-and-run.
     Campbell pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon at arraignment. Bail was set at $1.48 million. Campbell is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 4.
     If convicted, he could face up to life in prison for plowing down pedestrians on Saturday evening at the popular Venice oceanfront walk.
     Witnesses said Campbell’s Dodge was going 60 mph, according to USA Today.
     “Campbell allegedly drove on Dudley Avenue and sped south near Sunset Avenue, killing Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy, and hitting 16 others. Of the 16 injured victims, eight are female and eight are male,” the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.
     After abandoning the Dodge Avenger, Campbell turned himself in to Santa Monica police about two hours after the incident, the district attorney said.
     Gruppioni, a newlywed from Bologna, died of injuries to her head and neck. Her husband suffered minor injuries and was released from hospital Monday, USA Today reported.
     Prosecutors said Campbell had recently moved to California, was homeless, unemployed and sleeping in his car. A former resident of Florida and Georgia, he has been arrested several times in the past 11 years for trespassing, and drug and alcohol abuse, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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