On a day when the L.A. City Council approved an emergency motion to immediately install additional barriers along the porous Venice boardwalk, the 38-year-old suspected of going on a vehicular rampage there Saturday was charged with 34 counts related to the case.
Murder was the the most serious charge for Nathan Louis Campbell, a transient Colorado man who had spent time on the Westside in the past, reportedly in the early '00s:
The charges also include, according to the L.A. County District Attorney's office, 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run.
A special allegation that a deadly weapon was used, in this case a car, was added to the case.
That could open the door for death-penalty prosecution, although The D.A.'s office stated today that the maximum he could face for now is life. [Corrected: The allegation does not open the door for a possible death-penalty case, a D.A.'s spokeswoman told us].
Campbell was due in court this afternoon.
The big question in the case is what motivated a suspect to get into the dark blue Dodge Avenger and mow down 12 people, killing one and critically injuring another, on the Venice boardwalk about 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Video showed a suspect pacing and getting in and out of the stopped car on Dudley Avenue near Ocean Front Walk before he drove onto the boardwalk and appeared to swerve and accelerate in order to strike pedestrians and vendors.
Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy, was killed. She was on her honeymoon with her husband, who was injured.
Campbell reportedly surrendered later to Santa Monica police.
The attack prompted Westside city Councilman Mike Bonin to propose the emergency measures along the boardwalk, along with a study of what further measures, including a public address system and more artsy barriers, could be implemented.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, said they'd ask for $1.48 million bail in the case.
[Update at 6 p.m.]: Campbell pleaded not guilty to the charges today, a D.A.'s spokeswoman told us. He's scheduled to be in court again Sept. 9, she said.