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Man charged with murder for allegedly careening on Venice Beach boardwalk

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By Stan Wilson


LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, was charged Tuesday with murder after he allegedly drove his car into pedestrians at California’s famed Venice Beach Boardwalk, killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon, a deputy district attorney said.

Campbell also was charged with 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run, said Deputy District Attorney Gary Hearnsberger. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The charges include the special allegation of use of a deadly weapon, a car. Campbell, who was being held on $1 million bail, could face a life sentence if convicted.

Campbell is accused of driving his 2008 Dodge Avenger onto the boardwalk on Saturday and killing 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni of Italy. She suffered blunt trauma to the head and neck, according to Los Angeles County coroner spokesman Ed Winter.

The motorist injured eight women and eight men, authorities said.

“It was horrible. I mean it was like something out of a movie, something you would never expect to see,” witness Katherine Blackburn told CNN affiliate KABC.

The city boardwalk is a popular tourist attraction on the west side of Los Angeles, and is lined with hundreds of street vendors and performers.

Police said Campbell abandoned the vehicle a few miles from the Venice Beach incident and turned himself into Santa Monica police about two hours later.

New details emerged Tuesday about Campbell, who once worked at a residential substance abuse center in Denver, Colorado.

Campbell was a chef and house manager at the Phoenix Concept from April 2010 to February 2012, said David Hall, program director for the Sobriety House Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center.

Campbell returned in December 2012 and worked until June before leaving, said Hall who declined to state the reason for his departure.

“While he was here he was a good employee and never had any issues that raised concern,” said Hall.

According to its website, the Phoenix Concept merged with Sobriety House in October 2007. It is a 30-bed facility for men challenged by addictions.

CNN’s Erica Henry contributed to this report.

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