January 8, 2015 |
A FEDERAL JUDGE has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a niece of alleged kidnapper and torturer Linda Ann Weston against the city and a former Department of Human Services worker. In a judgment filed Monday and made public yesterday, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick ruled in favor of the former DHS worker, Nefertiti Savoy, and the city, and against Beatrice Weston, 23, who filed the suit. The judge ruled that while Savoy - the DHS case worker who recommended to a judge that Beatrice live with her aunt and failed to investigate Linda Weston's criminal background - was negligent, she could not be found liable for the abuse Beatrice suffered by her aunt.
March 27, 2014 |
MY COLLEAGUE Stephanie Farr and I were a mess yesterday. Steph had just heard about the death of 3-year-old Brayden Chandler, whose story she told so beautifully last month. Terminally ill with kidney cancer, Brayden had taken a dream trip to Disney World with his family. When they returned, more than 150 police cars greeted them at the airport and escorted them home to Delaware County. There, hundreds more well-wishers cheered Brayden and his parents, Jackie Marinelli and Jason Chandler.
January 13, 2014 |
AS SHE SAT with her son Weston after his surgery, Julie Keeton felt alarmed. His cheeks, lips and fingertips looked flushed with fever, and when he breathed, his chest barely moved up and down. "Is he OK?" she asked a nurse at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where Weston, 7, had just undergone a heart and double-lung transplant. "He's fine," the nurse told her. His skin only appeared flushed because his circulation was now normal. And he was taking fewer breaths because his healthy new lungs didn't need to gulp for air. Julie laughed with wonderment.
January 29, 2013
A federal judge on Monday replaced the lawyer for Linda Ann Weston, the Philadelphia woman who could face the death penalty after being accused of running a ring that kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved mentally disabled people to collect their government benefit checks. U.S. Magistrate Judge L. Felipe Restrepo told Weston that lawyer George S. Yacoubian Jr. "has been doing very noble work without a fee," but that she needed attorneys with experience in capital cases. Restrepo appointed Patricia L. McKinney, and said he might add a second lawyer.
January 25, 2013 |
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.
August 21, 2012 |
Beatrice Weston, 20, the niece of convicted killer Linda Ann Weston, is suing the City of Philadelphia for placing her in Weston's care in 2002 and subjecting her to what authorities have described as a nightmarish decade of unrelenting torture at Weston's hands. Beatrice Weston was one of five people rescued in October after police discovered four mentally disabled adults held in a dungeon-like basement of a Tacony apartment building. She was locked in a cramped closet in an upstairs apartment, and authorities soon learned that she had been imprisoned by her aunt since she was 10. Authorities have said Weston moved Beatrice and the others around the country, terrorizing them, in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits.
April 6, 2012 |
The trial for Linda Ann Weston and her alleged accomplices, accused of imprisoning four mentally disabled adults in a Tacony basement last fall, has been set for January 2013. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Jan. 28. The trial, which could last up to 10 weeks, would be scheduled to run for four days out of each week, attorneys said. Weston, 52, described by authorities as the ringleader of the group, is charged with kidnapping and assault, among other offenses. Also charged are Gregory Thomas, 48, Weston's boyfriend; Jean McIntosh, Weston's 32-year-old daughter, and Eddie Wright, 51. Prosecutors have alleged that they kidnapped the adults to steal their Social Security checks, then moved them around the country to escape detection by authorities.
December 23, 2011 |
TWO DAYS after a judge dismissed charges against one of four people arrested for imprisoning mentally disabled adults in a Tacony basement, the District Attorney's Office refiled charges against him. Eddie Wright, 50, faces a preliminary hearing Jan. 20 on charges including kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and terroristic threats. Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan had dismissed those charges Tuesday, apparently agreeing with defense attorney Louis D'Onofrio's claim that Wright was a victim and not a conspirator.
December 20, 2011 |
AFTER arriving in Philadelphia crammed with five other people in the rear luggage area of a Ford Expedition, Edwin Sanabria told a packed courtroom yesterday, he was led down to a sub-basement and ordered to sleep in "the little hole. " "At first, I didn't want to," said Sanabria, 31. "Linda made me. " Sanabria, who stands about 5 feet 2 and is slightly built, had sauntered into the courtroom with a multicolored hooded sweatshirt, a black Polo shirt, jeans and black boots.