A California judge denied bail on Monday (Sept. 12) to Nicole Linton, the nurse charged in the Los Angeles car crash in August that killed five people and an unborn baby. She has been charged with six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
Defense attorney Halim Dhanidina asked the court to release Linton, 37, to a mental health facility where authorities could electronically monitor her whereabouts, CBS Los Angeles reports.
"She stole six innocent lives," the news station quoted Superior Court Judge Victoria Wilson, who added that the Houston nurse allegedly stepped on the gas and drove at an excessive speed without trying to slow down.
The Los Angeles Times reports the prosecutor said Friday (Sept. 9) that Linton was traveling 130 mph when she ran a red light, disputing the defense’s claim that Linton suffered a loss of consciousness or epileptic seizure behind the wheels.
In the court filing, the prosecutor didn’t dispute that Linton has mental health issues but told the judge that she can receive proper medical and psychiatric care in jail where she won’t be a danger to herself or others. She allegedly has a history of reckless driving that makes her dangerous if released on bail.
On Aug. 4, Linton sped through an intersection and crashed into at least five cars, setting three on fire. Among the victims, Asherey Ryan, 23, who was 8½ months pregnant, died, along with her 11-month-old son Alonzo and her fiancé, Reynold Lester. The unborn child’s name was Armani Lester. Two more women were killed and eight other people were injured.
The Times reported that victims’ family members were in the courtroom gallery and applauded when the judge denied bail to Linton.
“She killed my grandsons and my daughter. Why would you even defend her?” the newspaper quoted a woman who sobbed and walked out the court when defense attorneys made their arguments.
If convicted, Linton faces 90 years to life in prison.