A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled on Monday that the nurse charged in the fatal Windsor Hills crash posed a threat to public safety and should continue to be held in jail as her case progressed.
The decision by Judge Victoria Wilson came after lawyers for Nicole Linton argued that their client – who is charged with six counts of murder – should be transferred to UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, where they said that she could be further evaluated for mental health issues and possible epilepsy. .
But Wilson was not convinced.
“She rammed and set fire to two cars. She stole six innocent lives,” Wilson said from the bench as Linton bowed his head behind a glass partition in the courtroom.
In the gallery, family members of some of the victims of the fatal Aug. 4 crash on La Brea and Slauson Avenues cheered and applauded the decision to keep Linton behind bars.
“She killed my grandsons and my daughter. Why would you defend her? a woman cried as she left the court as defense attorneys made their case.
Linton is charged with killing 23-year-old Asherey Ryan; her almost 1-year-old child, Alonzo Quintero; as well as Ryan’s fetus. Ryan’s boyfriend Reynold Lester was also killed in the fire accident, as were her friends Nathesia Lewis, 43, and Lynette Noble, 38, both in a separate vehicle.
Prosecutors revealed in court papers Friday that Linton was traveling 130 mph when she ran a red light at the intersection and slammed into slow-moving westbound traffic on Slauson Avenue.
They argued that Linton could receive adequate medical and psychiatric care in prison, that she had a history of aggressive behavior and dangerous driving, and that she could harm others if released. They also said there was no evidence to suggest Linton suffered a loss of consciousness or seizure while driving.
“The suggestion that she is suffering from a lack of consciousness, such as a seizure, while maintaining control of a car traveling at 130mph… defies logic,” the deputy prefect said. Atti. said Antonella Nitorescu.
Defense attorneys disagreed.
“Ms. Linton is a sick person and should be hospitalized,” her attorney, Halim Dhanidina, said Monday. “It protects the public.”
Although prosecutors did not dispute that Linton suffered from mental health issues, they said she decided not to take her prescribed medication, which could have prevented a manic episode.
Linton had been off her medication since about 2019, she told California Highway Patrol officers after the crash, prosecutors said.
She said she stopped taking it because it made her “gain weight or get sick or depressed,” the judge said.
Linton is expected to be arraigned on the charges against her on Monday afternoon, her lawyer said.
She faces up to 90 years to life in prison if convicted.
Los Angeles Times