The driver’s mental health was deteriorating before the accident

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The driver suspected of causing a fiery accident that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, near Los Angeles suffered from worsening mental health problems and was involuntarily in psychiatric treatment, prosecutors said on Monday, while trying to contest her provisional release.

Nicole Lorraine Linton was charged last week with six counts of murder and five counts of negligent manslaughter with gross negligence in connection with the August 4 accident. A murder charge was brought over the pregnant woman’s unborn child.

In a filing against Linton’s release on bail, Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Brittany Vannoy said some of her mental health issues were shared with prosecutors by defense attorneys.

“The defense has disclosed a number of previous incidents that appear to be increasing in severity, from the defendant jumping onto police cars to jumping out of apartment windows,” Vannoy wrote in documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “The defense states that (Linton) has been subjected to multiple involuntary commitments and injured himself on more than one occasion.”

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

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The Times said the filing does not mention any previous car accidents involving Linton, which prosecutors are said to be reviewing when filing charges in the Aug. 4 incident.

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

“It’s been widely reported and it’s not true,” Halim Dhanidina, representing Linton, told the Times.

Linton was scheduled for a bail hearing on Monday, but her lawyers asked a judge to delay her by two weeks.

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

Prosecutors said Linton’s Mercedes-Benz was traveling at 90 mph when he ran a red light and collided with cars at a crowded intersection in unincorporated Windsor Hills, about 10 miles southwest of downtown LA. Victims were thrown from cars and several vehicles caught fire.

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