12ft | Behind Nicole Linton's murder charges in Windsor Hills crash - Los Angeles Times
Among the dead are 23-year-old Asherey Ryan
; her 11-month-old child
, Alonzo Quintero; her boyfriend, Reynold Lester; and their unborn child. Ryan was 8½ months pregnant when she was killed. The boy she was carrying had been named Armani Lester, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Two additional women killed in the crash have yet to be identified by authorities, but loved ones said they were Nathesia Lewis, 42, and Lynette Noble, 38.
“She has to pay for what she did,” said Clarence “Moezart” Hamlin, Lewis’ boyfriend. “She can’t get away with this.”
If [Nicole] was psychologically unwell, she hid it, her friends said.
Linton graduated with a degree in marketing from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 2007, only pivoting toward a career in nursing after, according to her friend from college. She worked as a technician during nursing school, then as an intensive care unit nurse. She eventually became a travel nurse, working for contracting giant AMN Healthcare starting in 2020.
She was “very inviting, bubbly. An extremely hard-worker” with a bright smile, said her friend, who lived in the same dormitory as Linton at Howard.
Five years after graduating from Howard, Linton moved to Laredo, Texas, where she worked as an operating room technician at Laredo Medical Center while traveling back and forth to Houston to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing, a former co-worker said.
“She was a highly motivated person, I would say, considering she had a different undergrad and became an operating room technician — totally changing fields,” said Arnulfo Salazar, who worked with and socialized with Linton in Laredo.
Salazar said that for part of her time in town, Linton did not own a car. He said they went to parties together, often barbecues in friends’ backyards, and while he did not notice any psychological issues, Salazar said that Linton could get gloomy.
“She was by herself here, so she would be a little down about being alone,” he said.
Then Linton moved full time to Houston, where she studied anesthesia at a graduate level at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
In Houston, she met Hurley, who recalled her as a hard-working and pleasant surgical technician at West Houston Hospital who had many friends. Linton then went on to nursing school and began work as an ICU nurse, Hurley said.
“She was kind and considerate of her patients and loved her job. She was an achiever,” Hurley said.
But as her career progressed, Linton began to accumulate car crashes, prosecutors say. In 2013, she failed to accelerate at a green light in Laredo and was rear-ended, according to Texas Department of Transportation data. In 2016, the same thing happened in Houston. She was not at fault in either of those crashes.
But the results of the Aug. 4 crash were far different.
“I don’t know anything that could have put her in the space,” Linton’s college friend said of events leading to the fatal Windsor Hills crash.
“My heart breaks,” Hurley said.
But also broken are the families of those who lost their lives. Ryan’s younger sister, Cotie Davis, 20, remembered how she used to do Ryan’s hair and how they both were studying for college degrees in criminal justice.
“I cannot imagine not having her at my graduation,” Davis said before bursting into tears.