Lawyers, not defendants, appear in Philadelphia court over “basement” case

The first court hearing for those accused of chaining mentally disabled people in a Philadelphia basement is offering hints of this case’s future. 

The status hearing took less than five minutes and the three accused did not attend.  Linda Ann Weston’s attorney George Yacoubian says he may request a review of whether his client is competent to stand trial.

“If I had to make a determination based on the short conversation I’ve had with her I would say that a competency examination is probably a good idea,” said Yacoubian.  “The worst thing that could happen is a professional is going to say she is competent and they and they we are right back to where we started.”

Codefendent Gregory Thomas’ attorney Perry DiMarco Jr. is not considering a mental health evaluation.

“I’ve interviewed him for several hours he was able to understand the questions and provide answers and at this point I don’t see competency being an issue,” said DiMarco.

Eddie Wright’s attorney and prosecutors did not comment on the case.  A preliminary hearing in the matter is scheduled for December 19th.

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