The driver suspected of having caused a violent accident which killed five people, including a pregnant woman, was charged on Monday with murder.
Nicole Lorraine Linton has been charged with six counts of murder and five counts of gross negligence manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. A murder charge has been filed for the pregnant woman’s unborn child.
She could face 90 years to life in prison if convicted on all counts.
Linton, a 37-year-old traveling nurse from Houston, Texas, made her first court appearance on Monday after being released from a hospital over the weekend. Linton, who appeared in a wheelchair, pleaded not guilty and her arraignment continued until October. She was ordered to be held without bond pending a bail hearing next week.
Prosecutors said Linton’s Mercedes-Benz was traveling 90 mph (144 km/h) last Thursday when it ran through a red light and slammed into cars in a crowded intersection in unincorporated Windsor Hills about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of downtown Los Angeles. Several victims were ejected from cars and several vehicles caught fire.
The accident killed Asherey Ryan, 23, her 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, Sha’seana Kerr said in a GoFundMe post.
Lester’s family told KABC-TV that the 24-year-old security guard is the father of Ryan’s unborn child, 8.5 months old. The family said Ryan was on her way to a doctor’s appointment for a prenatal checkup when she was killed.
A charge of murder – but not an additional charge of manslaughter while driving a vehicle – has been filed for the fetus, which was identified by the coroner’s office as Armani Lester and listed as born the same day of his birth. dead.
“A young family was destroyed in the blink of an eye,” District Attorney George Gascón said at a press conference.
Two other women were also killed but their names were not made public on Monday.
“As the wreckage from this fire accident at this intersection has been removed and traffic has finally resumed, the families and friends of those killed and injured are suffering catastrophic damage,” Gascón said. “It is not just a huge loss for the families but for our entire community who learned of this incredible tragedy or who watched the now viral video of the collision,” he said.
In court, Linton’s attorney Halim Dhanidina said his client had a history of “profound mental health issues” that may be linked to the accident, but did not elaborate, the Los Angeles Times reported. .
Authorities said they found no evidence Linton was under the influence of alcohol, but prosecutors said she had at least 13 previous crashes – including a personal injury crash in 2020 that totaled two cars – and knew the threat posed by his driving behavior, the Times said.