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Judge Drops One Lesser Charge In Tacony ‘Basement of Horror’ Kidnap Case

(Four of the "Basement of Horrors" defendants.  Phila. PD photos)

(Four of the “Basement of Horrors” defendants. Phila. PD photos)

Hanson_Tony--NEW Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson has spent his entire illustrious career at KYW Newsradio,...
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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge today rejected most defense motions to dismiss charges against four defendants in the Tacony basement captives’ case.

The defendants allegedly held their victims, some of whom had mental or physical disabilities, captive for up to a decade to steal their benefits and other funds (see previous story).

The prosecution alleges that ringleader Linda Weston and others held and transported the victims to Philadelphia from Texas, Florida, and Virginia, lugging them around “like suitcases in the trunk of a car,” and held them in locked closets and basements.

Today, the judge in the case rejected motions to dismiss kidnapping, assault, and other serious charges, but did dismiss a count of “neglect for a dependent care person.”

Weston’s attorney, Geroge Yacoubian Jr., says that charge wasn’t appropriate since she wasn’t a designated caregiver:

“A nurse, somebody in a nursing home, for example, somebody who comes to your home,  a home health aide, et cetera. That statute is designed to protect people from individuals who are supposed to be protecting them.”

Weston and the other three defendants remain in custody and are scheduled to face trial in January of next year.