Traveling nurse from Houston who killed six people in horror LA crash, has a history of ‘mentally illness’, says prosecutor and her attorney: Nicole Linton, 37, after 13 prior auto crashes was well aware of the threat posed by her driving behavior – prosecutor
Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, is in custody, held on a $9million bond for six murder and five manslaughter charges as a result of Thursday’s crash
On August 4, Linton drove her Mercedes Benz into traffic in L.A. at around 90mph
As of today Nicole Linton, 37, is in custody in California on six murder charges for killing a pregnant woman, her boyfriend, the woman’s one-year-old son, a man and two other women on August 4
23-year-old Asherey Ryan, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, Armani Lester her unborn child, her 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero, who was about to celebrate his first birthday, and her boyfriend Reynold Lester, 24, all died in one car
Another male victim Craig Pitchford and two more women were also killed in the crash
Linton’s motive remains unclear but her attorney told a court yesterday she has a ‘profound history’ of mental health
Despite her ‘profound’ problems’ and history of ‘Mental illness’ she has held six nursing jobs across five states in the last two years
Kaiser Permanente, the healthcare company that hired the ‘mentally ill’ ICU nurse for job in L.A. punted the onus of how she was vetted to AMN Healthcare, the placement company:
Nicole Linton was working for AMN Healthcare, a traveling nursing company that sends nurses around the country
She has worked with them in two hospitals since October 2020. Prior to that, she worked with a different nursing outsourcer, RN Network
An ICU nurse from Houston, Texas with her own ‘profound’ mental health problems has been charged with murdering six people in a horror car crash last week Thursday. However, the company which got her placement in California is refusing to comment on how she was vetted for the job,
The traveling nurse who has a history of issues, according to the prosecutor and her own attorney, was also charged with five counts of vehicular manslaughter at her arraignment on Monday.
Nicole Linton, 37, is in custody in Los Angeles, on six counts of murder in the deaths of 23-year-old Asherey Ryan, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant with baby Armani Lester, her 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero, who was about to celebrate his first birthday, and her boyfriend Reynold Lester, 24, all died in one car.
Another male victim Craig Pitchford and two more women were also killed in the August 4 crash.
Linton inexplicably drove her Mercedes straight into traffic, at the speeds allegedly up to 90mph, slicing one of the victims’ cars in half and sending the baby in his car-seat and his mother flying into the air in different directions, at terrifying speed.
Her motive remains unclear but her attorney told a judge yesterday she has a ‘profound history’ of mental health problems which should have stopped her from getting behind the wheel of a car – let alone inside an ICU facility to treat critically ill patients.
Nicole Linton was arraigned in an LA court on Monday and was charged with six counts of murder for the deadly crash of Aug 4
On Monday Linton’s lawyer, Halim Dhanidina, told the court that his client has an out-of-state history of “profound mental health issues” that might be linked to the crash but didn’t specify, the Los Angeles Times reported.
LA County DA George Gascón said they haven’t found any evidence that Linton was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the California Highway Patrol said Linton who had at least 13 previous crashes, including a 2020 injury accident that totaled two cars, was well aware of the threat posed by her driving behavior.
Linton was working at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, but she’d been sent there by AMN Healthcare, a travel nursing company that farms out skilled contractors to spots where they are most needed.
It became a heavily relied-upon model during the COVID-19 pandemic, when healthcare professionals in the hardest-hit cities were in short supply.
As a nurse Linton held six roles in five different states in the last two years despite having ‘profound’ mental health problems.
Since 2020, she has worked with two of the temporary nursing companies AMN and RN Network.
Amid growing concern over why she was even allowed to hold a position in the hospital with such a grave mental condition as her attorney described, AMN Healthcare refused to comment on what kind of background checks were performed when she was first given a job with them.
‘At this time, we are not able to comment on an active criminal investigation. Any further questions should be forwarded to law enforcement authorities,’ a spokesman said, refusing to be drawn on how she was vetted for her role with the travel nursing company.
Records indicate that Linton has been involved in 13 incidents prior to last week’s tragedy. In several of those incidents, she was driving in the vehicle and another driver rear-ended her, including one instance incident report from one of the crashes where Linton failed to move at a green light and was rear-ended. The crash records span 2013 and 2016. In neither case was Linton including one where deemed to be at fault.
RN Network has not made a statement on this development. However, Kaiser Permanente, the facility where she was working, put the onus on AMN.
In it’s statement Kaiser said ‘Everyone at Kaiser Permanente is deeply saddened by last Thursday’s horrific crash. It’s impossible to imagine the pain those involved are experiencing. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.’
It goes further to state that ‘Ms. Nicole Lorraine Linton is not employed by Kaiser Permanente, rather is a nurse employed by AMN Healthcare and contracted out to work at Kaiser Permanente on a temporary basis.
‘She was not traveling for Kaiser Permanente at the time of the accident,’ a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Before nursing, Linton worked as a sales manager for General Motors.
Then in 2010, she began studying to obtain her nurse’s license.
There are no open complaints against her or violations listed by California’s Department of Consumer Affairs, and her California nursing license is valid.
In 2020, she worked in both North Carolina and Maryland.
Since October 2020, she has worked between Atlanta and Los Angeles.
In court, prosecutors also said that Linton had been involved in 13 vehicle accidents in Texas and California.
Full details of those crashes have not yet become public.
But available records show two crashes in Texas. One was in 2013 and the second was in 2016.
In both cases, another driver rear-ended her car and she was not deemed to be at fault.
The 2013 crash report describes how Linton failed to move at the lights once they turned green.
One person was taken to the hospital in that accident.
Linton was also believed to be a flight risk since she works as a traveling nurse, so the judge denied a request to set bail.
Linton’s friends and family will not comment on her mental health or the ‘problems’ her attorney said she was facing, but on social media, she appeared to be happy working as a traveling nurse.
According to records, Linton moved from the Washington, D.C. area to Laredo, Texas in 2013 before moving to Houston in 2014.
She lived in a pleasant part of Houston, Texas, and some of her Facebook photos show her wearing expensive designer shoes.
Meanwhile the families of her victims are incredulous. Luis Quintero, the father of one-year-old Alonzo Quintero who died in the accident, fumed on Facebook that the nurse’s $9million bail was too low. ‘You don’t even deserve a bail,’ he said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has not given any additional details on the case.
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