Nicole Linton, 37, killed half a dozen people when she allegedly blasted through a red light at 130 mph, causing a multi-car crash that sent a baby through the air and started a fire. Her older sister, Kim Linton, says she spoke to Nicole via FaceTime several minutes before the crash, and the call led her to believe her younger sister was having a manic bipolar episode.
“You know when you have a dream and you remember fragments of the dream? That’s how she was talking,” Kim told The Los Angeles Times. “She’d just say one or two words, then something else. … I was just confused.”
Nicole Linton was arrested and charged with six counts of murder and five counts of gross vehicular manslaughter. She has reportedly been denied bail and is in county jail.
Medical records submitted by Linton’s lawyers in court say that Linton doesn’t remember the incident or what happened before it. “The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire,” said Dr. William Winter, the doctor who treated her after the crash, according to Chron.
Prosecutors, however, say evidence from the Mercedes Benz electronic control unit indicates that she didn’t lose consciousness. They also called her driving a “NASCAR-worthy performance,” an apparent reference to her speeding.
Nicole Linton had a history of psychiatric episodes, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In 2018, she jumped on top of a police cruiser and came to believe that her family was recording her. She was later committed to a psychiatric ward. In 2019, she jumped out of a first-story apartment window, injuring herself. Several months later, she was found running naked around the apartment complex.
“Witnesses at the location described defendant as angry, talking nonsense, screaming, chasing the maintenance crew and hitting vehicles driving through the parking lot,” a motion describing the incident states, reports the news agency.
Camille Linton, another older sister, says watching the video of the crash reminds her of those episodes.
“When I see that video, I don’t see Nicole driving,” says Camille Linton. “I see her mental illness driving. Something must’ve happened that caused her to completely disassociate with reality.”
Asherey Ryan, 23, and Reynold Lester were on their way to a pregnancy check-up when they, along with their one-year-old boy Alonzo, were killed, reports KTLA. Asherey was nearly nine months pregnant, and Linton has been charged with the death of the unborn child as well. Nathesia Lewis, 43, and Lynette Noble, 38 — who were friends — were also killed.