LOS ANGELES — A lawyer for a Colorado man charged Tuesday with murder and assault for allegedly driving his car through a weekend throng on the Venice Beach boardwalk said it was an accident that has left his client devastated.

"I don't believe he intentionally tried to hit anybody," said public defender Philip Dube, who is representing Nathan Louis Campbell, 38.

"He's profoundly sad, he is profoundly depressed, that he has potentially ended somebody's life," Dube said outside the courthouse, after Campbell entered a not guilty plea. "I think this was a horrible accident."

A felony complaint outlined 34 counts against Campbell, saying he acted willfully. However, it provided no explanation for why he allegedly maneuvered around a vehicle barrier early Saturday evening and plowed into tourists and vendors on the popular walkway along the Pacific.

Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni, 32, who was on her honeymoon, was killed, and 16 other people were injured.

Campbell was charged with one count of murder, 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and 17 counts of hit-and-run.

If convicted, he could face life in prison. Bail was set at $1.48 million.

Campbell appeared briefly in court, handcuffed in blue prison garb, with his graying hair disheveled. He sat with his hands folded in his lap and only said "I do" and "yes sir" while responding to questions.

Dube told reporters there was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved, and he said he was unaware of any history of mental illness with his client.

"He is very fragile. He is very frail right now," Dube said.

Police said Campbell has been in California only a short time, and it's not clear what brought him to Venice Beach on the summer weekend. Only a sketchy picture of him has emerged. He had no fixed address and no state driver's license, and police have found no evidence he was working in the state.

Campbell has ties to Colorado, where he lived as recently as last year. He was evicted from his apartment in Denver for not paying $655 in rent in March 2012, records show.

He was sentenced to five days in jail after pleading guilty to shoplifting at a Denver supermarket in February 2009. Five months later, he was accused of trespassing at an outdoor mall in Denver and sentenced to 10 days in jail, but instead served time in a sheriff's work program, said Melissa Drazen-Smith, assistant director of prosecutions at the Denver city attorney's office.

All of his infractions occurred in businesses along a downtown walking mall, an area that is also a magnet for homeless people.

She said Campbell is listed in one record as being a temporary laborer.

Investigators believe Campbell, who was arrested after walking into a police station several hours after Saturday's rampage, 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 has said.

Earlier Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council called for new street barriers to block unwanted vehicles from getting onto the boardwalk. A motion, approved unanimously, urged police and city officials to immediately erect temporary barriers at the most dangerous intersections along the boardwalk, which draws tens of thousands of visitors on weekends.

The council also asked for a two-week study that will assess where to install permanent posts or other barriers to keep cars away from pedestrians.

When Gruppioni was hit, her husband, Christian Casadei, was at her side. He suffered minor injuries.

In a statement Monday, Casadei called his wife "an immense gift: a gift that no one can ever understand. She gave happiness and joy to anyone who had the luck to know her."

One person was critically injured and two others were taken to hospitals in serious condition. The 13 others all received less severe injuries.

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 the Dodge, steering around a vehicle barrier and careening through the crowd.

Witnesses said the car was traveling at least 35 mph. It later turned up on a side street less than 2 miles away.

A makeshift boardwalk memorial for Gruppioni included a note in Italian expressing condolences and a painting that reads, "Venice loves you, Alice."

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Associated Press writers P. Solomon Banda in Denver, Colleen Barry in Milan, and Raquel Maria Dillon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Security Cameras Capture Hit-And-Run

    In this still frame made from security camera footage from Snapchat, Inc. headquarters, pedestrians scatter as a car drives through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. A driver plowed into crowds at the Venice Beach boardwalk in a seemingly intentional hit-and-run that killed a woman and injured 11 others. (AP Photo/Snapchat Inc.)

  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Security Cameras Capture Hit-And-Run

    In this still frame made from security camera footage from Snapchat, Inc. headquarters, pedestrians scatter as a car drives through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Snapchat Inc.)

  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Helping Injured Pedestrians

    Police and fire officials assist an injured pedestrian at the scene where a car drove through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Venice311.org, Alex Thompson)

  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Helping Injured Pedestrians

    Police and fire officials assist an injured pedestrian at the scene where a car drove through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Venice311.org, Alex Thompson)

  • Saturday, Aug. 3: Helping Injured Pedestrians

    Police and fire officials respond at the scene where a car drove through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Alex Thompson/Venice311.org)

  • Saturday, Aug. 3: An Empty Crime Scene

    An unidentified passerby, left, looks at police investigators at the scene on the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles late Saturday Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Tami Abdollah)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Vendors Pick Up The Pieces

    Mustafa, Balci works to repair a table damaged at their stand along the Venice, Calif., beach boardwalk Sunday Aug. 4, 2013 near where a Saturday incident involving a driver who accelerated through a crowd of beachgoers, hitting one person after another as bystanders tried desperately to get out of the way. The hit-and-run killed an Italian woman on her honeymoon and hurt 11 others. (AP Photo/Tami Abdollah)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Vendors Pick Up The Pieces

    Mustafa, right, and his wife, Yesim Balci work at their stand along the Venice, Calif., beach boardwalk Sunday Aug. 4, 2013 near where a Saturday incident involving a driver who accelerated through a crowd of beachgoers, hitting one person after another as bystanders tried desperately to get out of the way. (AP Photo/Tami Abdollah)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Makeshift Memorials

    A makeshift memorial along the Venice, Calif., beach boardwalk is shown Sunday Aug. 4, 2013 near where a Saturday incident involving a driver who accelerated through a crowd of beachgoers, hitting one person after another as bystanders tried desperately to get out of the way. (AP Photo/Tami Abdollah)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Makeshift Memorials

    A memorial for 32-year-old Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni is seen on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Makeshift Memorials

    Passersby stop to view a memorial to 32-year-old Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Makeshift Memorials

    A memorial for 32-year-old Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni is seen on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Police Patrol Venice Boardwalk

    Los Angeles police patrol on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Police Patrol Venice Boardwalk

    Los Angeles police patrol on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Back To Normal On Venice Boardwalk

    People walk on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Back To Normal On Venice Boardwalk

    People walk on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Sunday, Aug. 4: Back To Normal On Venice Boardwalk

    People walk on the Venice Beach boardwalk on August 4, 2013. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Piero Casadei Visits Venice

    Piero Casadei, center, father-in-law of Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni, who was killed in Saturday’s hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk, is comforted by a well-wisher on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Piero Casadei & Katia Gruppioni Visit Venice

    Katia Gruppioni, center, aunt of Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni, who was killed in Saturday’s hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk, and Gruppioni's father-in-law, Piero Casadei, comfort each other near a makeshift memorial for Gruppioni on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Piero Casadei & Katia Gruppioni Visit Venice

    Piero Casadei, right, father-in-law of Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni, who was killed in Saturday’s hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk, stands near a makeshift memorial for Gruppioni as Gruppioni's aunt Katia talks to reporters on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Ra Rishikavi Raghudas Prays

    Ra Rishikavi Raghudas prays in front of a makeshift memorial for Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Ronnita Couch At Vigil

    Ronnita Couch, center, gets emotional as she observes a moment of silence during a vigil for Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Monday, Aug. 5: Makeshift Memorial

    People place flowers on a makeshift memorial for Italian newlywed Alice Gruppioni on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Tuesday, Aug. 6: Nathan Louis Campbell Appears In Court

    Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, a transient from Colorado, enters Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. Campbell was charged with murder and assault for allegedly driving his car down Los Angeles' Venice Beach boardwalk, killing an Italian tourist and injuring 16 other people, on Aug. 3. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

  • Tuesday, Aug. 6: Nathan Louis Campbell Appears In Court

    Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, a transient from Colorado, seated left, appears with attorney Phillip Dubee in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

  • Alice Gruppioni

  • Alice Gruppioni

  • Alice Gruppioni