LOS ANGELES — The driver suspected of causing a fiery crash near Los Angeles that killed six people -- including a pregnant woman, her baby and her unborn baby -- has been charged with six counts of murder.
Nicole Lorraine Linton, a traveling nurse from Houston, also was charged Monday with vehicular manslaughter and was ordered to be held without bail.
Editor's note: The video above originally aired on Aug. 8
The 37-year-old didn't enter a plea Monday at her first court appearance where she arrived in a wheelchair. Prosecutors said her Mercedes-Benz was doing 90 mph last Thursday when it plowed into cars in an intersection in Windsor Hills, setting several vehicles on fire.
A 23-year-old woman, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, her unborn child, her 11-month-old son, who was about to celebrate his first birthday, and her boyfriend all died in one car. The identities of two other women who were killed had not been released as of Tuesday.
If convicted of all charges, Linton could face up to 90 years to life in prison.
What we've learned about Nicole Linton
- In court, Linton's lawyer, Halim Dhanidina, said his client has an out-of-state history of “profound mental health issues” that might be linked to the crash but didn’t specify, the Los Angeles Times reported.
- Authorities said they haven't found any evidence that Linton was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The California Highway Patrol said she had at least 13 previous crashes — including a 2020 injury accident that totaled two cars — and knew the threat posed by her driving behavior, the Times said.
- KHOU 11 reached out to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, who told us, "Due to the fact that the defendant’s traffic history involves multiple jurisdictions, we cannot confirm the exact number of collisions. We can only say that she has been involved in numerous prior collisions including one in 2020 that involved two wrecked cars and bodily injury."
- Linton was also believed to be a flight risk since she works as a traveling nurse, so the judge denied a request to set bail.
- According to records, Linton moved from the Washington, D.C. area to Laredo in 2013 before moving to Houston in 2014.
Editor's note: Linton also claims she got her nursing degree and doctor of nursing practice degree at UT Health in Houston and worked at local hospitals as an ICU nurse before becoming a traveling nurse in 2020. We are working to verify those claims.
WARNING: Graphic video of crash