- A California nurse who was in a car accident and killed six people was suffering from a mental health crisis, her lawyers claim.
- Nicole Linton has been charged with six counts of murder after police say she crashed her car at 130mph at an intersection.
- Linton “has no recollection of the events leading up to his collision,” a doctor said in a court filing.
Lawyers for a California woman charged with six counts of murder after a fiery car crash have said she has suffered from an ongoing mental health crisis since going to school and becoming a nurse.
Nicole Linton, 37, was driving 90 mph before hitting several cars on August 4, police said, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
“Further analysis reveals that her speed at impact was in fact 130 mph and that she pressed the accelerator pedal for at least the 5 seconds leading up to the crash, dropping from 122 mph to 130 mph,” a court filing said.
Prosecutors said she killed six people in the accident, including a fetus inside a woman who was weeks away from giving birth. In addition to the six counts of murder, prosecutors charged Linton with five counts of gross negligence manslaughter, the LA Times reported.
Linton’s lawyers, in court filings, said a medical professional who examined her after the crash said she ‘had no recollection of the events leading up to her collision’ .
‘The next thing she remembered was lying on the sidewalk and seeing her car was on fire,’ the doctor said, adding that she experienced an ‘apparent blackout’ .
In other court documents, Linton’s lawyers said she suffered from mental health crises long before the crash. In May 2018, for example, she had a mental health crisis while attending nursing school at the University of Texas at Houston, the LA Times reported.
“The stress was too much for her and it ‘broke her’,” her sister, Camille Linton, wrote in court papers. “So begins the journey of Nicole’s 4-year struggle with mental illness.”
Prosecutors said Linton told them she had been stressed due to a demanding job as a nurse and had not slept days before the accident.
Another time, she told her family members that she believed her late grandmother possessed her. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a psychiatric hospital, defense attorneys wrote in the documents.
But prosecutors disagreed with the claim that Linton experienced a mental health crisis, arguing that she was “conscious and deliberate in her conduct”.
“This NASCAR-worthy performance belies the idea that she was unconscious or incapacitated,” a filing reads.
“In an attempt to describe what we now know to be a horrific conscious act as an accident, the defense confused the possibility that the defendant suffered from a mental health episode prior to the accident with the now defunct notion of a loss of consciousness at the time of the accident,” prosecutors said.
Since the crash, Linton has remained in jail, the LA Times reported.