Judge Orders Evaluation for Basement 'Ringleader' - NBC 10 Philadelphia

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.



    Judge Orders Evaluation for Basement 'Ringleader'
    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.

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

    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.
    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011)