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Hate crime, murder alleged in Philly basement case

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013
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The victims' diminished mental capacity, coupled with the fact that Weston continually moved the family to elude law enforcement, meant that "escape for these individuals seemed impossible," Memeger said.

Weston forced two female victims into prostitution to earn more money for the family when they lived in Texas and Florida, authorities said.

Two other women died while living with Weston, leading to murder charges that make her eligible for the death penalty. Memeger said prosecutors are weighing whether to pursue it.

Maxine Lee, a disabled Philadelphia woman, died of meningitis and starvation while living with Weston in Virginia in 2008, authorities said. Another woman identified in court papers as D.S. died in Philadelphia in 2005 after prosecutors said Weston fed her drug-laced food while keeping her captive in a laundry room. Weston staged the death to look like an overdose, authorities said.

Weston already has served time for the starvation death of a man she locked in her Philadelphia apartment nearly three decades ago.

Others charged in the indictment unsealed Wednesday are Weston's daughter, Jean McIntosh, 33, of Philadelphia; Gregory Thomas Sr., 49, of Philadelphia; Eddie Wright, 52, of Killeen, Texas; and Nicklaus Woodard, 26, of West Palm Beach, Fla.

McIntosh, Thomas and Wright had already been named as co-defendants in the state case against Weston. Jury selection for that trial was scheduled to start Monday, but the Philadelphia district attorney's office said it will withdraw all charges in light of the federal indictment.

Woodard is a new defendant in the case who Memeger said was arrested in Florida on Wednesday morning. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

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Follow Kathy Matheson at www.twitter.com/kmatheson