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NEWS
January 29, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
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.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal authorities on Wednesday presented a racketeering indictment against a Philadelphia woman who allegedly enslaved mentally disabled adults to steal their benefit checks, adding hate-crime and murder charges that could expose her to the death penalty. The crimes alleged in the 196-count indictment against Linda Ann Weston and four others include much of the depravity and sadism that emerged when police found the dirty, emaciated victims locked in a Tacony basement in October 2011.
NEWS
January 24, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
LINDA ANN WESTON, the alleged ringleader of a "family" of violent con artists accused of holding disabled people captive in a Tacony basement to bilk them out of their Social Security checks, was charged federally Wednesday and may face the death penalty, authorities announced. Weston, 52, looking confused and wearing a dark sweat suit, stumbled into court Wednesday to hear the charges against her, which are contained in a 196-count indictment. She is charged with two murders, two counts of sex trafficking, forced human labor and multiple counts of fraud, kidnapping, racketeering and several other offenses.
NEWS
January 10, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
ABOUT 200 activists from Philadelphia's firefighters union theatrically disrupted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at the city's first new firehouse in 15 years by staging a walkout as an opening prayer was being said and by chanting criticisms of Mayor Nutter outside the $6.7 million station in Tacony. Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters also announced a petition drive to hold a recall election for the mayor, who has angered firefighters by appealing a series of legal decisions that would award them retroactive pay raises and other benefits.
NEWS
January 10, 2013 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was supposed to be a simple dedication of a $6.7 million firehouse in Tacony, Philadelphia's first in 15 years. Suikang Zhao had journeyed to the event from New York to explain his artwork, which honors the Fire Department and the Disston Saw Works, the company that built Tacony. Fourth and fifth graders from Planet Abacus Charter School, wearing red baseball caps identifying them as members of the Junior Fire Patrol, waited for their chance to help push a fire engine into its parking spot, the traditional way of welcoming a new station.
NEWS
December 25, 2012 | By Allison Steele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A 46-year-old man was gunned down this morning in the city's Tacony section, police said. The man, whose name has not been released yet, was found on the street near the corner of Devereaux and Tulip streets shortly before 10:30 a.m., police said. He had a gunshot wound in the left side of his chest. The man was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later, police said. Contact Allison Steele at 215-854-2641 or asteele@phillynews.com
NEWS
November 20, 2012 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
MOST Philadelphians think of Tacony as half a bridge, said Alex Balloon, but once they discover the new Tacony Hoagie Trail, they'll keep coming back to the Northeast for "Tac-hoagies" that rival South Philly's signature deli divas. The Tacony Hoagie Trail extends for several blocks along Torresdale Avenue from DeNofa's "Homemade Sausage & Italian Deli" to Fink's "King of Gourmet Hoagies," then on to Jack's Place ("Home of the Best Hoagie in the Free World"). The marketing of the sandwich shops is about much more than feeding people, however.
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
LUCK HAS RUN OUT for two men who may be responsible for a rash of drugstore heists in the Northeast and who unwittingly swiped a bottle of pills embedded with a GPS tracking device Monday night, police said. The pair allegedly robbed a Rite Aid on Roosevelt Boulevard near Solly Avenue in Rhawnhurst at gunpoint about 9:30 p.m. and took off with pain pills, as robbers have in several similar incidents over the last few months, police said. But Rite Aid and police outsmarted the pair: The pharmacy, investigators said, had placed a GPS tracking device in at least one of the pill bottles the gunmen allegedly stole, giving cops a way to track them down.
NEWS
October 14, 2012 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The case against Linda Weston, who was charged last year with imprisoning four mentally disabled adults in a squalid North Philadelphia basement in a plot to steal their government benefits, has from the beginning contained accusations of unimaginable cruelty. But authorities say the Weston story also represents a potential test case for a new federal hate-crime statute that allows for prosecution of those who victimize the disabled. It would be the first such prosecution since the law was passed in 2009.
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