Tacony 'House of Horrors' mastermind given second lawyer

Weston: May face execution
Weston: May face execution
Posted: January 29, 2013

LINDA ANN WESTON, the alleged ringleader in the Tacony "House of Horrors" case, was given a new attorney Monday and will get a second attorney on Thursday at her arraignment and bail hearing.

U.S. Magistrate L. Felipe Restrepo told Weston during a brief hearing that she is entitled to two attorneys because federal prosecutors may seek the death penalty against her.

"You've been charged with some very serious offenses, very serious," Restrepo told Weston.

Last week, federal prosecutors unsealed a 196-count indictment accusing her of a mountain of crimes, including two murders, kidnapping, racketeering, conspiracy, hate crimes, wire and mail fraud, sex trafficking and forced human labor.

The indictment states that Weston, 53, and four co-defendants lured and abused mentally disabled people and stole $212,000 in disability payments.

Six adults and four children were victimized between 2001 and October 2011 in Philadelphia, Texas, Virginia and Florida, prosecutors said. Weston and her co-defendants were arrested in October 2011, after Philadelphia police discovered four victims locked in the filthy basement of a Tacony apartment building.

Also charged in the scheme are Weston's daughter, Jean McIntosh, 33; Weston's boyfriend, Gregory Thomas Sr., 49; Eddie Wright, 52; and Nicklaus Woodard, 26.

Defense attorney George Yacoubian, who had represented Weston since her arrest, said that Restrepo replaced him because he lacked experience with federal capital-punishment cases. Defense attorney Patricia McKinney was appointed to represent Weston.

Yacoubian said that the two murder charges against Weston are suspect, given that police in Philadelphia and Norfolk, Va., did not list the victims' deaths as homicides when they occurred.


On Twitter: @MensahDean

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