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New York Post
Nurse Nicole Linton, charged with killing six in 130mph crash, ‘froze’ at wheel: lawyer
By Marjorie Hernandez,
Defense attorneys for a traveling nurse charged with killing six people when she barreled through a busy Los Angeles intersection at 130 mph said they plan to call an expert who will testify she had a seizure and “froze” at the wheel to explain the horror smash.
Nicole Linton appeared before a Los Angeles judge on Thursday with her attorney, Jacqueline Sparanga, who told the judge they plan to call a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy and seizures.
“We are going to put on this defense at the preliminary hearing, which is rare,” Sparanga told The Post.
“Everything that the doctor has reviewed is consistent with her having a seizure. Nicole wasn’t sleeping for days and insomnia can cause seizures.”
She added, “People who fall asleep at the wheel go limp, but if they have a seizure, everything tenses up. That is consistent with why her foot was on the pedal.”
Prosecutors claim a psychiatric evaluation conducted on Linton showed no indication of a seizure and that Linton “floored” her car for at least five seconds before reaching speeds of 122 to 130 mph before speeding into the intersection of La Brea and Slauson avenues on Aug. 4 last year.
Video footage showed Linton’s Mercedes smashed into multiple vehicles before exploding into a fireball.
“This NASCAR-worthy performance flies in the face of the notion that she was unconscious or incapacitated,” prosecutors wrote in a motion.
Linton, 37, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter. She remains at a county jail under a “no bail” hold.
Linton’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17.
Sparanga said their witness is a “leading expert” in seizures and epilepsy but would not reveal the name of the neurologist. The attorney said Linton has a history of mental health issues and has had seizures in the past.
“She’s being treated for mental health issues, so the government’s own doctors concede this is a mental health case,” Sparanga said.
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