Los Angeles nurse Nicole Linton has been accused of having travelled at speeds of 130mph before killing five people at a busy intersection, a court has reportedly heard.
Authorities had said the 37-year-old was driving at 90mph when she killed five people – including a woman who was eight months pregnant – in the Windsor Hills area of Los Angeles last month, police said.
Citing the latest court filing in the case, the report said the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office believed Ms Linton was responsible for a “conscious and deliberate” act in a motion challenging lawyers acting for Ms Linton.
Ms Linton’s attorneys asked the court for her pretrial release or bail because of her mental health at the time of the incident, which lawyers for the nurse said were the result of work stress.
That request was turned down on Friday with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office citing her 130mph driving speed as a “NASCAR-worthy performance (which) flies in the face of the notion that she was unconscious or incapacitated”. The findings were reportedly the result of data obtained from her crashed vehicle as well as surveillance video.
Dr William Winter, who reportedly treated Ms Linton at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, previously told the court that Ms Linton had no recollection of the collision last month.
“She has no recollection of the events that led to her collision,” he told the court, per the LA Times. “The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire”.
Ms Linton’s sister told the court that Ms Linton’s time as a nursing student at the University of Texas in Houston in 2018 was the beginning of her struggles with mental health.
“The stress was too much for her and it ‘broke’ her,” said Camille Linton in a court filing. “Thus beginning the journey of Nicole’s 4-year struggle with mental illness.”
While it was Ms Linton who entered a plea ahead of her expected trial, she is currently facing murder charges on six counts – including the foetus of the pregnant woman – as well as five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. If convicted, she could face up to 90 years in prison, CBS News reported.
Lawyers for the 37-year-old could not be reached by The Independent.