A NURSE who allegedly caused a crash that killed six people, including a pregnant woman and her baby, was seen sobbing in court on Monday as she could face 90 years in prison.
Charges against Nicole Linton were announced by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who said the Texas woman is facing six counts of murder and five counts of gross negligence.
Linton, 37, was allegedly driving at a “high rate of speed” on Slauson and La Brea avenues at around 1.30pm on Thursday when she crashed into multiple vehicles, which became engulfed in flames, according to the district attorney’s office.
The crash killed six people, including a pregnant woman, her unborn child, and her young son.
Linton, a traveling nurse, was seen in California court on Monday in tears, in a wheelchair and left arm brace.
Her defense team asked for a continuation of the case so that they could investigate “some profound mental health issues” relating to Linton.
The prosecution agreed, and Linton’s plea hearing was adjourned to October 26.
Prosecutors said on Monday that Linton was allegedly driving anywhere from 82 to 100 miles an hour, based on video estimates they reviewed.
SUSPECT’S ‘MULTIPLE CRASHES’
They said she ran through a light, which had been red for approximately nine seconds, and struck five to eight vehicles.
According to prosecutors, Linton has been involved in multiple other crashes throughout the United States, the most recent being a 2020 collision that allegedly left two cars totaled and one person injured.
They did not specify if Linton was responsible for the crash, though they said she subsequently underwent a driving course.
The prosecution said it was not aware of any criminal record on Linton.
They asked for her to continue to be held in jail due to a perceived danger she was to the public, the gravity of her alleged crimes, and the fact that she was a “potential flight risk” with plans to travel to Hawaii for her work as a traveling nurse.
The defense claimed that it was unknown if anyone was injured in the 2020 crash, and a toxicology screening performed on Linton after the August 4 crash came back negative for drugs and alcohol.
The defense said despite the claims of the prosecution, Linton lives and works in Los Angeles and has for a year.
“We don’t contest the harm that was caused in this case but the harm and potential sentence we don’t believe justify denying her bail altogether,” the defense said in court while proposing that Linton could stay with her sister, who also lives in Los Angeles.
The suspect’s attorneys sought a $300,000 bail.
They claimed that Linton’s family is looking for a mental health treatment center that she could attend.
However, the judge denied Linton bail for the time being.
“She should have been aware of her limitations,” the judge said.
Linton faces up to 90 years in prison if found guilty.
YOUNG COUPLE AND BABY MOURNED
Expecting mom Asherey Ryan, 23, her baby boy Alonzo, and Ryan’s boyfriend were among the crash victims.
Family said that Ryan was headed to a doctor’s appointment when the tragic collision occurred.
Two other women, who have yet to be identified, were also killed in another car.
Six people were injured, according to the district attorney’s office.
“While the wreckage of this fiery crash at this intersection was removed and traffic eventually resumed, there is catastrophic damage to the families and friends of those killed and injured,” Gascón said in a statement.
“It is not only a tremendous loss to the families but our entire community who learned of this incredible tragedy or have watched the now-viral video of the collision
“I’m sure this is a time of great sorrow and grieving for the families and friends of those who will be forever affected by what has transpired.”
Gascon referenced footage of the crash that shows a Mercedes-Benz slamming into a traffic jam at rapid speed and striking another vehicle, which erupted in flames.
The case remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.