Woman accused of killing 5 and an unborn not allowed to go from jail to mental-health facility, judge rules

A nurse accused of speeding into a Windsor Hills intersection and causing a crash that killed five people and an unborn baby and injured eight other people was ordered on Monday, Sept. 12, to remain in jail without the opportunity for bail.

Superior Court Judge Victoria B. Wilson said Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, is suspected of flooring the gas pedal in her car and was driving at 130 mph just before the deadly crash on the afternoon of Aug. 4 at La Brea and Slauson avenues and did not try to stop or slow down, with six people suffering “horrific deaths.”

Linton’s attorney, Halim Dhanidina, had asked the judge to allow Linton to be released to a mental-health treatment facility and be electronically monitored, saying that the defendant wouldn’t be able to get up and leave.

Prosecutors objected to the request, with Deputy District Attorney Antonella Nistorescu telling the judge that a data recorder from Linton’s Mercedes-Benz indicated that she accelerated from 122 mph to 130 mph five seconds before the crash and that she maintained control of the steering wheel.

The prosecutor said the defense’s suggestion that she suffered an “apparent lapse of consciousness” during a mental-health crisis in the moments leading up to the crash “defies logic.”

Linton, a traveling nurse from Houston who was working at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, is charged with six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. She was hospitalized after the crash, and used crutches for her latest court hearing.

“She stole six innocent lives,” the judge said, in turning down the defense’s request for Linton to be moved from a Los Angeles County jail.

Family members of the victims clapped in court upon hearing the judge’s decision.

In court papers filed last month, defense attorneys noted that Linton was willing to be housed at UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital pending the outcome of her case. Her lawyers wrote in the filing that medical records from her treatment at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center immediately after the crash indicate that she has a “history of bipolar disorder.”