A nurse charged with six counts of murder after her Mercedes-Benz slammed into traffic at a busy Windsor Hills intersection last month accelerated to 130 mph just before the crash, according to new court documents filed Friday.
The motion, filed by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in response to claims by the nurse’s attorneys that she had lost consciousness before the collision, states that Nicole Linton “was conscious and deliberate in her driving.”
Authorities originally estimated Linton’s car was traveling at 90 mph when it crashed into multiple vehicles at the intersection of La Brea and Slauson avenues shortly after 1:30 p.m. Aug. 4.
“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,” Friday’s court filing said.
Prosecutors said analysis of the Mercedes’ recorded data and surveillance footage indicates that Linton had “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,” according to the filing.
Linton, 37, is charged with six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. One of the victims was Asherey Ryan, who was 8½ months pregnant. Prosecutors charged Linton with murder in the death of Ryan’s fetus.
The crash also killed Ryan’s nearly 1-year-old child, Alonzo Quintero, and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, who were in the car with her.
Also killed were Nathesia Lewis, 43, and her friend Lynette Noble, 38.
Linton has been held in jail since the crash, with prosecutors alleging she is a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Her defense attorneys said in a previous filing that Linton‘s mental health was deteriorating before the crash.
“She has no recollection of the events that led to her collision,” Dr. William Winter wrote on Aug. 6. Winter treated Linton at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
“The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire,” he wrote.
Winter wrote that Linton has bipolar disorder and suffered an “apparent lapse of consciousness” at the time of the crash, according to her heavily redacted medical records.
Linton’s family became aware of her mental health issues in May 2018 when she was a nursing student at the University of Texas in Houston, her lawyers wrote. Her sister Camille Linton said in a letter to the court that Nicole Linton‘s studies to be a nurse anesthetist caused her first mental health breakdown.
“The stress was too much for her and it ‘broke’ her,” Camille Linton wrote. “Thus beginning the journey of Nicole’s 4-year struggle with mental illness.”
Linton ran out of her apartment in May 2018 during a panic attack, and when police approached her, she jumped on a police car and was arrested for disorderly conduct, her attorneys wrote.
Linton called her family from the police station and was concerned about the well-being of her pet turtle, according to her attorneys.
A few days after that arrest, Linton told her family that she believed she was possessed by her dead grandmother.
The next day, at Ben Taub psychiatric hospital, Linton required stitches on her forehead after she banged her head into a glass partition while ranting about the police and the Supreme Court, the lawyers wrote. She sang Bob Marley songs as the medical staff treated her wound, the records say.
It was at Ben Taub that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed psychiatric medication, the defense motion says.
Linton’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment Friday night.