The traveling nurse accused of causing a fiery accident in Windsor Hills that killed five people suffered from worsening mental health problems, had previously injured herself and had been involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment on several occasions, have prosecutors said Monday.
In a case opposing the bail of Nicole Lorraine Linton, who faces charges of murder and manslaughter in connection with the Aug. 4 crash, LA County Deputy Dist. Atti. Brittany Vannoy said many of the issues were shared with prosecutors by the defense team.
“The defense disclosed a number of prior incidents that appear to be increasingly serious, ranging from the defendant jumping onto police cruisers to jumping out of apartment windows,” Vannoy wrote. “The defense says [Linton] was the subject of involuntary commitments on several occasions and was injured more than once.
Vannoy argued that Linton’s mental health issues, her reckless conduct in the case, and her ties to people out of state and country mean she should be held without bond ahead of trial. Linton’s mother lives in Jamaica, the prosecutor said.
“The defendant’s extremely reckless driving combined with her mental health issues that escalated to the point of killing six people and injuring seven more clearly are consistent with the exceptions to detention without bail under the California Constitution,” Vannoy wrote.
The filing did not mention previous Linton-related car crashes, which prosecutors reportedly looked into when they filed charges in the Windsor Hills incident.
Lawyers for the nurse, who worked at Kaiser Permanente’s West Los Angeles Medical Center, could not immediately be reached to comment on Linton’s mental health history, but earlier Monday denied she had any many car accidents.
“It’s been widely reported and it’s not true,” said Halim Dhanidina, who represents Linton.
“Our initial investigation has demonstrated that this allegation that has been circulated in the media is patently false,” Dhanidina said of the claim that Linton was involved in 13 other crashes before the one at Windsor Hills.
Linton was due to have a bail hearing on Monday, but his attorneys have asked a judge to postpone it for two weeks so they can continue to investigate and prepare.
Linton is being held without bond at the Century Regional Detention Center and did not appear in court for Monday’s brief hearing.
“All things considered, she’s trying to hold her head high and looking forward to a new resolution in court,” Dhanidina told The Times outside the courtroom.
Linton is charged with six counts of murder and five counts of manslaughter in the crash. She is accused of driving her Mercedes-Benz at around 90 mph down La Brea Avenue toward Slauson Avenue and then ramming into numerous cars, setting them on fire.
Five people died, including a pregnant woman. Prosecutors brought a murder charge against Linton for the death of the unborn child.
The crash was captured on surveillance video.
Asherey Ryan, 23, was killed along with her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, her 11-month-old child, Alonzo Quintero, and her unborn child. Two women in another car, Nathesia Lewis, 42, and Lynette Noble, 38, were also killed.
The Times was able to find records of at least two crashes in which Linton was previously involved. In 2013, she failed to accelerate at a green light in Laredo, Texas, and was rear-ended, according to Texas Department of Transportation data. In 2016, the same thing happened in Houston. She was not responsible for any of these accidents.
She is due back in court on August 31.