Texas nurse facing murder charges has ‘no recollection’ of fiery LA crash, had ‘mental collapse’: motion

Texas nurse Nicole Linton charged with six murder counts in a fiery Los Angeles crash had “no recollection” of the wreck and might have had a “mental collapse” before, defense argues.

Lawyers for the Texas traveling nurse held behind bars on six counts of murder for a fiery Los Angeles wreck earlier this month appealed for her to be released for psychiatric testing, alleging in a new motion that the woman suffered a mental collapse and may have blacked out before the deadly wreck. 

Nicole Linton, a traveling nurse from Texas, is facing murder charges after allegedly barreling a Mercedes-Benz at 90 mph through an intersection in Los Angeles’ Windsor Hills section on Aug. 4, sparking a fiery crash that killed six, including a pregnant woman, her unborn child, her boyfriend, and the woman’s 11-month-old infant son. 

In a new motion filed Tuesday, Linton’s defense attorneys describe how she suffered a mental collapse before the crash. The filing also describes Linton’s deteriorating mental state after a bipolar disorder diagnosis four years ago.

In the aftermath of the crash, Linton was treated at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by Dr. William Winter, who wrote in an Aug. 6 evaluation that she experienced an "apparent lapse of consciousness" leading up to the wreck captured on disturbing surveillance video. 


"She has no recollection of the events that led to her collision," Winter wrote in the evaluation including among other heavily redacted medical records attached to the motion. "The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire." 

The motion says Linton’s family first became aware of her mental health issues in May 2018. A letter from Linton’s sister, Camille Linton, said that Nicole experienced her first mental breakdown while studying to become a nursing anesthetist at the University of Texas in Houston. 

"The stress was too much for her and it ‘broke’ her," Camille Linton wrote. "Thus beginning the journey of Nicole’s 4-year struggle with mental illness."

At the time of the crash, Nicole Linton had been working for West Los Angeles Medical Center. She had expressed to her sister that her co-workers were "acting weird" toward her. 


"In the days and hours leading up to the events of August 4, Nicole’s behavior became increasingly frightening," the motion says. 

The day of the crash, Linton came home from the hospital for lunch and FaceTimed her sister "completely naked," according to court documents. 

She went back to work before leaving again and called her sister just minutes before the crash to say she was coming back to Houston to visit her niece and that she would be getting married soon.

While experiencing a panic attack in May 2018, Nicole Linton ran out of her apartment, and when police approached, she jumped on the hood of the cop car and was arrested for disorderly conduct, the motion says. She called her family from the police station stating concern for her pet turtle at home. 

Days after that arrest, she confessed to her family that she believed she was possessed by her dead grandmother. The motion says that she visited Ben Taub psychiatric hospital the next day and required stitches after banging her head into a glass partition and complaining about police and the Supreme Court. Records note she sang Bob Marley as the medical staff tended to the bloody wound. 

The motions say Linton was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at Ben Taub and prescribed psychiatric medication. More than a year later, a neighbor spotted Linton running around her apartment complex naked and called the woman’s family. She at that point was involuntarily committed. 

She stopped taking her medication during the pandemic, and an online therapist told her that she merely suffered from anxiety. She also began not sleeping and accused her family of stealing from her.

The motion says Linton – charged with six counts of murder and five counts of manslaughter – should be released on no more than $300,000 bail with ankle monitoring to undergo testing at UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. 

But prosecutors with Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s office have maintained that Linton, who has family in Jamaica, is a flight risk and a danger to public safety in requesting that she remain behind bars while awaiting trial. 

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