Venice Beach Hit-and-Run Leads to Murder Charge

By Betty Wang, JD on August 05, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

After a scary incident at the Venice Beach boardwalk involving a hit-and-run, the driver has now been charged with murder. Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, turned himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department hours after the incident.

Campbell allegedly sped onto the pedestrian boardwalk Saturday night, killing one woman and injuring nearly a dozen other people. Alice Gruppioni of Italy, who was killed, was 32 and on her honeymoon, CNN reports.

According to a witness, it looked as if Campbell's only goal was to create chaos and to massacre boardwalk patrons.

Why Murder?

Campbell, a Colorado native, may have been living in his car, sources told the Los Angeles Times. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Murder is among the range of possible charges that a defendant can receive for a killing. Other types of homicides include involuntary manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter. Murder, however, is the most severe in the category.

The definition for murder varies by state, but it generally includes the same set of elements. In California, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being, with malice aforethought. The killing part is one crucial element, and the malice is the other required component.

Mental State Will Be Key

Malice aforethought, in general, is a type of mental state that accompanies the accused murderer's mind while they are committing the act of killing someone. It generally refers to an evil disposition, a purpose, or an indifference to human life.

Some states look at it as the same thing as a premeditated killing. In other words, malice aforethought is usually present if the killing was planned, deliberated beforehand, or committed with a complete, total disregard for a person's life.

Typically, a convicted murder suspect will be eligible for the harshest penalty, which usually means a life sentence or even the death penalty in some states. (While the death penalty is possible in California, a court-ordered moratorium is currently in place.)

As 11 other bystanders were injured in Saturday's Venice Beach hit-and-run, more charges against Campbell are possible.

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