Judge Orders Evaluation for Basement 'Ringleader'

A judge has ordered that Linda Ann Weston, accused of holding four mentally disabled people captive, to be mentally evaluated.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Philadelphia Police
    Linda Ann Weston, 51, is the main suspect in the case of four mentally disabled adults found locked in a Philly basement, police say. Weston spent eight years in prison for keeping 25-year-old Bernardo Ramos in the closet of her North Philadelphia apartment until he starved to death, reports say.

    A Philadelphia judge has ordered a mental health evaluation of the alleged ringleader in what authorities describe as a Social Security fraud scheme in which mentally disabled victims were held captive in a squalid basement.

    Fifty-one-year-old Linda Weston and three others were charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and other offenses after her landlord stumbled on the four victims in a foul-smelling boiler room last month. Authorities say the defendants locked the victims in a basement and wrested control of their disability checks.

    On Wednesday, Municipal Judge Martha Neifeld granted the request of Weston's attorney, George Yacoubian, for a mental health examination of his client. Yacoubian says competency could be an issue.

    Inside the Tacony 'Dungeon'

    [PHI] Inside the Tacony 'Dungeon'
    NBC10's Rosemary Connors goes inside the Tacony apartment building basement where four mentally challenged adults were held captive.

    Neifeld also granted a partial gag order in the case. Prosecutors are declining to comment.