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Opening statements to begin in 2013 Venice boardwalk rampage case

Trial underway for man accused of driving into crowd on Venice boardwalk in 2013, killing 1, injuring several

Opening statements could begin as soon as Wednesday in the trial of a man prosecutors say bulldozed his car through a crowd on the Venice Beach boardwalk, killing an Italian honeymooner and injuring several others.

Jury selection began last week in the case against Nathan Louis Campbell, 39, who faces murder, assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run charges in connection with the Aug. 3, 2013, death. He has pleaded not guilty.

Alice Gruppioni, a 32-year-old Italian woman on her honeymoon, was killed and 17 others were injured in the incident, which triggered new safety measures at one of L.A.’s busiest and most storied tourist destinations.  

During an earlier preliminary hearing in the case, a man testified that he heard Campbell rev the engine to his Dodge Avenger and saw him plow through the crowd in a zigzag pattern, striking people who had jumped out of the car's path. Another man testified that he got a glimpse of Campbell's face and recalled seeing a “manic grin.”

Witnesses at the time said the Avenger tore through the crowd “like a train,” barreling into an ATM and a tent where a man sold pendants and flinging a woman’s body into the air.

Campbell's attorney has argued that the death and injuries were a tragic accident, saying his client had recently bought the car and was having troubles with the shift lever.

For more news from the Los Angeles County criminal courts, follow @marisagerber

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