In brief: Suspect in boardwalk rampage is transient
LOS ANGELES – The man suspected of being behind the wheel of a sedan that careened down the crowded Venice Beach boardwalk last weekend, killing an Italian newlywed on her honeymoon and injuring 16, is a transient who served brief stints in jail in Colorado, authorities said Monday.
Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, had been in the Los Angeles area a short time but had no fixed address, and police have been unable to find any evidence he was working.
Investigators believe Campbell, who was arrested for investigation of murder after he walked into a police station several hours after the rampage on Saturday, was driving his own car, Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
“I think we can safely say, when he turned himself in … he implicated himself in the Venice incident,” Smith said.
Investigators have yet to provide an explanation why the driver maneuvered around a vehicle barrier early that evening and plowed into tourists and vendors along the fabled walkway bordering the Pacific, killing Alice Gruppioni, 32.
Her new husband, Christian Casadei, was at her side. He suffered minor injuries.
One person was critically injured and two others were taken to hospitals in serious condition. The 13 others all received less severe injuries.
Campbell is being held on $1 million bail. Police said Campbell initially parked outside a hotel and surveyed the boardwalk, where hundreds of people were sitting at cafes, walking along the seashore or shopping for jewelry, art or other items at vending stands.
Surveillance video showed a driver getting into a Dodge sedan, steering around a vehicle barrier and careening through the crowd.
Witnesses said the car was traveling at least 35 mph along the crowded boardwalk.
Florida executes convicted mass murderer
STARKE, Fla. – A man convicted of murdering eight people in Miami-Dade County in the late 1970s was executed Monday night at the Florida State Prison, despite his lawyers’ pleas that he was too mentally ill to be put to death.
John Errol Ferguson, 65, died at 6:17 p.m., following a lethal injection.
The execution came less than two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final request for a stay.
Ferguson and two others were convicted of murdering six people in 1977 during a robbery at a Carol City house used by marijuana dealers. Ferguson also was convicted of the 1978 murder of a 17-year-old couple, Brian Glenfeldt and Belinda Worley, from Hialeah. They were shot as Ferguson, dressed as a police officer, tried to rob them while they were parked at a lovers’ lane. Worley was raped.
Power presents envoy credentials to U.N.
UNITED NATIONS – Samantha Power presented her credentials as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, stressing the critical link between the global superpower and the world body.
The former foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama told reporters before the ceremony that she was honored, thrilled and “incredibly fortunate to be able to come to New York to sit behind the placard that says the United States.”
“I’ve worked with the secretary-general over the last few years at the White House, worked very effectively with him and I’m looking very much forward to a close working relationship now that I am up here in New York,” she said.
Power was sworn in Friday by Vice President Joe Biden, a day after the Senate overwhelmingly approved her nomination by a vote of 87-10. She succeeds Susan Rice, now the president’s national security adviser.
At age 42 and 10 months, Power is the youngest-ever U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The U.S. Mission said she is a month younger than Donald McHenry was when he was confirmed in September 1979.