Los Angeles police thought Nicole Linton, had initially driven her Mercedes at 90 mph whenr smashing it into traffic and causing a fiery wreck that killed six people, on Aug 4
Travelling ICU nurse Linton, 37, was driving at 130 mph, 40 mph than cops initially believed, when she sped into several cars and caused a deadly car crash at the intersection of La Brea and Slauson Aves in downtown LA
Those killed include 81/2-month pregnant Asherey Ryan, 23, and her unborn child, along with her 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, 24
Lynette Noble, 38, her travelling companion Nathesia Lewis, 42, as well as another motorist, Craig Pitchford, were also killed
Linton is a traveling nurse from Houston, Texas but was working in LA at the time
Court documents showed the speeding driver had suffered from years of severe mental health issues which began to show up as bipolar disorder in 2018
She’s been jailed without bail since the crash and will remain there after prosecutors opposed bail, arguing she is a danger to the community and a flight risk
Defense filing detailed years of alarming behavior including panic attacks, self-harm, and Linton’s belief she was being possessed by her dead grandmother
Contrary to defense argument that she was unconscious at the time of the crash, prosecutors are claiming that Linton ‘was conscious and deliberate in her driving,’ when the deadly accident happened
Linton could face 90 years to life in prison if convicted of all six murder charges
A nurse deemed ‘mentally unstable’ reached a terrifying speed of 130mph when she killed six people in a blazing car crash in Los Angeles last month – more than 40 mph faster than than police originally thought.
The the filing which was released Friday states that Nicole Linton, 37, originally was thought to have bulldozed her Mercedes-Benz through a red light at La Brea and Slauson Avenues on August 4, while travelling at a speed of 90mph.
Instead, as court documents now allege, Linton was in fact diving at a considerably faster speed – and she ‘deliberately’ floored the accelerator for at least five seconds before reaching the crowded intersection.
Court records revealed: ‘Further analysis reveals that her speed at impact was in fact 130 mph and that she floored the gas pedal for at least the 5 seconds leading into the crash, going from 122 mph to 130 mph.’
While the defendant’s attorneys claimed she had been unconscious at the time, the charging papers are now suggesting that the errant nurse had been in ‘complete control over steering, maintaining the tilt of the steering wheel to keep her car traveling directly toward the crowded intersection.’
‘This NASCAR-worthy performance flies in the face of the notion that she was unconscious or incapacitated,’ prosecutors said in the court filing.
In fact, the alleged killer was ‘was conscious and deliberate in her driving,’ they claim.
After her arrest, Linton was charged with six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in connection with the crash.
The 37-year-old traveling nurse from Houston, Texas could face 90 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges.
One of the murder charges was filed for the unborn son of victim Asherey Ryan, who was eight-months-pregnant when she was killed. The crash also killed Ryan’s 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester. Lester was the father of the unborn child.
The family has said Ryan was on the way to a doctor’s appointment for a prenatal checkup when she was killed.
One murder charge, but not an additional charge of vehicular manslaughter, was filed for the fetus, who was identified by the coroner’s office as Armani Lester and listed as born on the same day he died.
‘A young family was destroyed in the blink of an eye,’ LA District Attorney George Gascón, who opposed to set bail for Linton, said at a news conference.
Two other female victims were later identified as Lynette Noble, 38, and Nathesia Lewis, 42. They were driving together when their car instantly burst into flames. The bodies of the two weren’t immediately identified due to severe trauma.
Nicole Linton was arraigned in an LA court on Aug 8 and was charged with six counts of murder for the deadly crash of Aug 4
Meanwhile, in a filing by defense lawyers opposing Linton’s release on bail, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brittany Vannoy said the suspect was suffering from severe mental health issues.
‘The defense has disclosed a number of prior incidents which appear to be increasing in severity, ranging from the defendant jumping on police cars to jumping out of apartment windows,’ Vannoy wrote in documents.
‘The defense indicates [Linton] has been subject to involuntary commitments on several occasions and has hurt herself more than once.’
Some of the suspect’s mental behavior in the past also included panic attacks, self-harming behavior, and her belief that she was being possessed by her deceased grandmother.
The defense’s documents further included a doctor’s assessment that during the crash Linton experience an ‘apparent lapse of consciousness.’
‘She has no recollection of the events that led to her collision,’ doctor William Winter wrote after an August 6 examination of the Texas-based nurse. ‘The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire.’
The court filings did not mention any previous car crashes linked to Linton.
Last month, prosecutors detailed how Linton’s bizarre and unhinged behavior worsened in the days before the deadly collision, and provided a timeline of the hours before the wreck.
‘In the days and hours leading up to the events of August 4, Nicole’s behavior became increasingly frightening,’ Linton’s lawyers wrote.
The filing showed that before the wreck the nurse had been continually telling her sister that coworkers were acting ‘weird.’
On the day of the accident she drove home from work to have lunch and spoke to her sister completely naked on FaceTime.
Then she returned to work, and at 1.24pm – minutes before the accident – Linton called her sister to say she was leaving again.
‘She told her sister that she was flying out to meet her in Houston the next day so she could do her niece’s hair,’ the filing read, ‘She also said that she would be getting married and that her sister should meet her at the altar.’
According to the court documents Linton’s mental struggles became apparent in May 2018 while she was a nursing student at the University of Houston.
‘The stress was too much for her and it ‘broke’ her,’ Nicole’s sister, Camille Linton, wrote, ‘Thus beginning the journey of Nicole’s 4-year struggle with mental illness.’
That May, Linton fled from her apartment in the midst of a panic attack. When police approached to help she leapt on the hood of their squad car and was arrested for disorderly conduct. While at the station she then called her family concerned about her pet turtle, the documents showed.
Days later Linton began telling her family about being possessed by her deceased grandmother.
Then the next day while checked into the Ben Taub psychiatric hospital Linton received stitches after she pounded her head against a pane of glass while ranting about the supreme court and police. The documents said she sang Bob Marley songs while she was stitched up.
It was during her stay at Ben Taub that Linton was diagnosed with bi-polar and prescribed medication to mitigate it.
But over a year later she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward by her family when neighbors complained she was running around the apartment building naked.
During the pandemic she stopped taking her medication when a therapist told her she only had anxiety.
From there, her health began a steep decline – she stopped sleeping, became obsessive about cleaning, accused family members from stealing, and ranted at them.
Linton’s defense argued her long history of mental health and ‘apparently bizarre’ behavior did not mean she should be locked up in prison, but that she should instead be released for treatment and monitoring at a mental health institution.
‘Ms. Linton would be most appropriately housed in a mental health treatment facility where she can be monitored and treated for her illness,’ her attorneys wrote, requesting she be allowed to wear an ankle monitor and be tested at UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital.
The defense also filed character statements from her family vouching for Linton.