TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
  • Home
Apr 10, 11:27 AM EDT

2nd defendant pleads guilty in basement abuse case


Buy AP Photo Reprints
Interactives
Fireplaces
Painting Tips
Kid's Room Decor
How to Stage Your Home
Designing for Small Spaces
Tree Houses
Green Remodeling
Universal Design
Home Theater Basics
Home security products
Basement Renovations
How to Prep a Guest Room
Preparing your garden for winter
Go inside the smart home
Existing home sales interactive
Garage makeovers add value to homes
Keys to know when buying a condo
Real estate appraisal complaints
Trends in home offices
Baby-proofing your home
Latest bathroom trends
Latest trends in pools

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A second defendant has pleaded guilty in a disability benefits scheme in which Philadelphia prosecutors say mentally disabled people were held captive and abused.

Eddie Ray Wright pleaded guilty Thursday to 22 counts including kidnapping, forced human labor, violent crime in the aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon.

The 54-year-old self-described ordained preacher faces up to life in prison and $5.25 million in fines. No sentencing date has been set.

Wright and three others were charged after four mentally disabled people were rescued in October 2011 from a basement boiler room in the city's Tacony neighborhood. Authorities say the ringleader took in the victims for their Social Security checks and locked them up with little food.

Prosecutors say they were beaten, raped, starved and forced to drink urine.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.