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Lawyer for Boardwalk Hit-and-Run Suspect Casts Doubt on Claim His Client on Meth

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

The public defender for the 38-year-old Colorado man accused of killing one and injuring 16 others in the Venice Beach boardwalk hit-and-run cast doubt Thursday on claims his client was under methamphetamine at the time of the incident.

Nathan Louis Campbell turned himself in shortly after the Aug. 3 hit-and-run and has been charged with one count of murder and 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run. He has remained in jail with bail set at $1.48 million.

Sevan Gerard, a board member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, said during Tuesday night’s public board meeting that the meth problem in Venice had reached epidemic levels and community members identified it as the forefront public safety issue on the boardwalk in the wake of the tragic hit-and-run.

“As far as the incident, it still has yet to be officially confirmed on paper, but the perpetrator was on methamphetamine at the time of the event,” said Gerard, a member of the Public Health & Safety Committee.

Campbell was assigned legal represenation by the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office and his attorney, Philip Dubé, responded Thursday to the allegation his client was on meth at the time.

‘I would urge you and your source from the Neighborhood Council to fact check before throwing caution to the wind. Otherwise, we will seek all legal relief and remedies on his behalf,’ Dubé said in an email in response to a Wednesday request for comment.

Alice Gruppioni, a 32-year-old Italian newlywed visiting Venice on her honeymoon, was killed in the horrific hit-and-run incident and her husband also was injured.

Campbell has pleaded not guilty and his next scheduled court date is Sept. 4 at the Airport Courthouse.

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