SoCal driver’s mental health deteriorated before crash that killed 5, prosecutor says

The driver suspected of causing a fiery crash that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, near Los Angeles suffered from worsening mental health problems and was involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment, prosecutors said Monday as they sought to deny her pretrial release. Nicole Lorraine Linton was charged last week with six counts of murder and five counts of grossly negligent vehicular manslaughter in connection with the Aug. 4 crash. One charge was brought for murdering the pregnant woman’s unborn child. Video above: Top headlines for August 16 In a statement opposing Linton’s release on bail, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brittany Vannoy said some of her mental health issues had been shared with defense attorneys . “The defense brought up a number of prior incidents that appeared to grow in severity, ranging from the defendant jumping on police cars to jumping out of apartment windows,” Vannoy wrote in documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “The defense alleges that (Linton) has been subject to involuntary commitments on several occasions and has self-harmed on more than one occasion.” Vannoy argued that Linton’s “extremely reckless behavior, coupled with her mental health issues,” meant that she should be held without bail. The Times said the filing did not mention any previous car crashes involving Linton, which prosecutors were said to be reviewing when they filed charges in the Aug. 4 incident. Linton’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment on Linton’s mental health history, but earlier Monday denied he had an extensive history of car crashes. “It’s been widely reported and it’s not true,” Halim Danidina, who represents Linton, told the Times. Linton was scheduled for a bail hearing Monday, but her attorneys asked a judge to delay for two weeks. The 37-year-old traveling nurse from Houston, Texas could face 90 years to life in prison if convicted on all charges. Prosecutors said Linton’s Mercedes-Benz was going 90 mph (144 km/h) when it ran a red light and crashed into cars at a busy intersection in unincorporated Windsor Hills about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of downtown of LA. Victims were thrown from the cars and several cars caught fire.

The driver suspected of causing a fiery crash that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, near Los Angeles suffered from worsening mental health problems and was committed to psychiatric treatment, prosecutors said Monday as they sought to deny her release before the trial.

Nicole Lorraine Linton was charged last week with six counts of murder and five counts of grossly negligent vehicular manslaughter in connection with the Aug. 4 crash. One count of murder has been filed for the pregnant woman’s unborn child.

  • Video above: Top headlines for August 16

In a statement opposing Linton’s release on bail, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brittany Vannoy said some of her mental health issues had been shared with prosecutors by defense attorneys.

“The defense brought up a number of prior incidents that appeared to grow in severity, ranging from the defendant jumping on police cars to jumping out of apartment windows,” Vannoy wrote in documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “The defense stated that (Linton) had been subject to involuntary commitments on several occasions and had self-harmed on more than one occasion.”

Vannoy argued that Linton’s “extremely reckless behavior, coupled with her mental health issues,” meant she should be held without bail.

The Times said the filing made no mention of previous car crashes involving Linton, which prosecutors are said to be reviewing when filing charges in the Aug. 4 incident.

Linton’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment about Linton’s mental health history, but earlier Monday denied that she had an extensive history of car accidents.

“It’s been widely reported and it’s not true,” Halim Danidina, who represents Linton, told the Times.

Linton was scheduled for a bail hearing Monday, but her attorneys asked a judge to delay it for two weeks.

The 37-year-old traveling nurse from Houston, Texas could face 90 years to life in prison if convicted on all charges.

Prosecutors said Linton’s Mercedes-Benz was going 144 km/h when it ran a red light and crashed into cars at a busy intersection in unincorporated Windsor Hills about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of downtown L.A. Victims were thrown from the cars and several cars caught fire.

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