Woman accused of murder, assault returns to court


A Santa Clarita woman charged with murder in connection to a wrong-way crash appeared in court last week, being ordered to return once again on March 21 for an arraignment.  

A total of 67 different felony counts have been filed against Nicole Thibault, 31, with the most severe allegations including murder and assault, after investigators say she purposefully veered into oncoming traffic on Jan. 22, 2018, and collided with a vehicle driven by Daniel Castillo, 69, of Fontana, who was killed. 

During an arraignment, a defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty to the various charges levied against them.  

The series of events leading to Castillo’s death, investigators said at the time of the incident, began after Thibault allegedly stole a vehicle in Riverside and drove it down Interstate 210.  

While in the Claremont area, the Santa Clarita Valley woman is then alleged to have purposefully charged into oncoming traffic, killing Castillo, and injuring two others in the same traffic collision. A total of four vehicles were reportedly hit during the deadly wrong-way crash, and Thibault herself sustained major injuries.  

More than a week after being hospitalized, Thibault was officially arrested on Jan. 31, 2018, after having recovered in the hospital.   

She was found to be mentally competent in December 2018 after undergoing a court-ordered mental competency assessment, and was held to answer in August 2019.  

Thibault is being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility.  

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