Philly basement suspect gets death-penalty lawyer

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 1:34 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A paroled killer charged with murdering two disabled adults in a Social Security fraud scheme has been assigned a new lawyer with death-penalty experience.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia may seek the death penalty against 52-year-old Linda Weston. She's the accused ringleader of a group charged with kidnapping mentally disabled adults, keeping them in squalor, starving them, beating them and taking their government checks.

Weston made a brief federal court appearance Monday, the same day related state charges were dropped. She is due back in court Thursday.

Defense lawyer George Yacoubian (yuh-KOH'-be-uhn) has represented her in the state case. He calls the federal charges overblown.

Yacoubian says local authorities in Philadelphia and Virginia investigated the deaths without filing murder charges.

Death-penalty lawyer Patricia McKinney now represents Weston in the federal case.

Print
Email
|