Man sentenced to 27 years for role in 'Basement of Horrors' case

Group tortured physically and intellectually handicapped people for years

Kristen Johanson
September 11, 2018 - 6:10 pm

Dreamstime

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Florida man was sentenced Tuesday for his role in the organized torture of physically and intellectually handicapped people, known as the "Basement of Horrors" case in Northeast Philadelphia. 

The sentencing comes three years after mastermind Linda Weston was sentenced to life in prison for stealing more than $200,000 in Social Security checks from the victims, while also beating and starving them for more than a decade.

Nicklaus Woodard, 31, will spend 27 years behind bars after negotiating a deal with federal officials. He admitted to viciously tormenting four people for more than a year inside a home in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Eventually, the group was moved to Philadelphia, where they were soon discovered in a Tacony basement.  

Given the chance to speak, one of the victims called Woodard "the devil" after prosecutors described how he burned, starved and struck her and three others with bats, sticks and a gun.

Prosecutor Faithe Moore Taylor said the "tragedy" reminded her of a concentration camp, where Woodard was a prison guard.

"The damage he inflicted in the 13 months he was with them was significant," she said. "Most of the fractures are a result of Nick Woodard's beating on these people, the resulting psychological damage they will have to live with the rest of their lives, and he helped Linda hold them even longer."

Woodard's mother sobbed through the hour-and-a-half-long hearing.

"He apologized for his role in the offense," added Woodard's defense attorney, Bill Brennan. "Nick apologized to the victims, many of whom were here."

Another defendant, Eddie Wright, will be sentenced later this week.