Girardi | Keese

Suspect in Venice rampage pleads not guilty

The Colorado transient who allegedly mowed down dozens and killed one person in a deadly Venice Beach rampage, pleaded not guilty to assault charges. The defendant was charged with one count of murder, 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run, according to the deputy district attorney. Included with the charges is special allegation of using a car as a deadly weapon. The defendant is accused of running down crowds of people on the boardwalk, killing a woman and injuring 11 other people. He later turned himself in to a local police station.

The defendant's attorney maintains that his client did not mean to hurt anyone. "I don't believe he intentionally tried to hit anybody. He is quite distraught. He is very saddened that an individual has lost their life," said the defense attorney. "He does not believe he is a homicidal person. He did not set out in life to injure or to harm people."

The defendant is being held on $1.48 million bail. If convicted, he faces life in prison. News reports state that the defendant has a history of run-ins with the law. Bay County sheriff's officials in Florida said Campbell was arrested in April 2008 for reckless driving with alcohol. Meanwhile other Investigators state the defendant spent time in jail in 2009 for shoplifting in Colorado, where he had lived as recently as last year.

A representative of a local-area non-profit agency that helps homeless youth confirmed that the defendant was an in-and-out resident at their Hollywood facility from April 1995 to August 1996.

While investigators did not release a motive, toxicology results are pending to determine whether drugs or alcohol were factors. At the same time, local officials have introduced legislation, calling for safety upgrades to the Venice boardwalk, with motions to add concrete barriers that would prevent vehicles from entering the boardwalk.

As family members of the bride arrived in Los Angeles to make arrangements to take the wife's body back to Italy for a funeral, local shop owners began setting up funds for the victims.

Personal injury and wrongful death victims have rights if you or a loved have been involved in an auto accident caused with malicious intent. Criminal courts cannot help in obtaining financial restitution in cases like this. To obtain compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, income loss and any emotional damage, a wrongful death/personal injury attorney is needed.


Source: 
ABC News 7, "Venice Beach boardwalk crash suspect pleads not guilty" Leo Stallworth and Darsha Philips, Aug. 06, 2013

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