Nathan Campbell was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Alice Gruppioni in June

By Tara Fowler
September 26, 2015 12:15 PM
Nick Ut/AP

A driver who killed an Italian woman on her honeymoon two years ago was sentenced to 42 years to life in state prison on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Nathan Campbell was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Alice Gruppioni in June. Prosecutors said she died after he allegedly hit her with his car as he drove down the Venice Beach Boardwalk chasing a drug dealer who’d stolen from him. Campbell has disputed this claim and says that he meant to shift the car into reverse and panicked when it went forward.

In a handwritten letter released to the Associated Press on Thursday, Campbell apologized for his reckless behavior.

“Every minute of every day I wish that the horrible things that happened on Aug. 3, 2013 had not,” he wrote. “I wish I could have stopped instead of panicking, causing pain to so many people.”

More than a dozen other people were injured in the incident, some of whom came forward to testify at Campbell’s trial, NBC Los Angeles reports.

Nancy Martinez, who walks with a cane following that fateful day, took the witness stand during an August hearing. “It’s been two years now, and I’m still in pain with the trauma,” she said through an interpreter.

Another one of Campbell’s victims, Judith Fox, was hit in the back of the head by an ATM that went flying after he allegedly struck it. “I will forever feel that this person was on a mission to maim and kill innocent people,” she said.

Gruppioni’s husband, Christian Casadei, also testified in the trial in May, saying that he tried to pull her out of the way but failed. Her body was carried on the hood of the car for 300 ft. before she slid off, prosecutors said, according to KTLA.

Prosecutors have said it’s miraculous that more people didn’t die, City News Service reports. “If not for sheer luck, more people could have been killed,” Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila said in his sentencing memo. “[The] defendant created chaos and a scenario of great violence which to this date has not only traumatized the victims, but also witnesses who observed from a distance.”

Campbell was also found guilty of more than 30 other charges in connection with the crash.

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