Exam finds Pa. basement captive suspect competent

By the Associated Press | November 16, 2011 | 10:35 AM EST

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The alleged mastermind behind the imprisonment of four mentally disabled adults in a Philadelphia basement has been found competent for the next step in her prosecution.

The finding means Linda Ann Weston can appear before a judge for a preliminary hearing next month on charges including kidnapping, conspiracy and assault.

Weston and two others are charged in the imprisonment of four people found locked in a filthy basement last month. Police say Weston kept the disabled adults captive so she could collect their Social Security benefits.

Authorities say they believe Weston had many more victims.

Weston's attorney said at Wednesday's hearing that the psychiatric exam was conducted last week.

Weston was also ordered to get psychiatric treatment while she remains in custody.