Charges Dismissed Against Suspects in 'Extremist Muslim' New Mexico Compound Case

UPDATE Father Partner Plead Not Guilty in Compound Death Charges Dismissed Against 3 Others

UPDATE Father Partner Plead Not Guilty in Compound Death Charges Dismissed Against 3 Others

A judge dismissed child neglect charges Wednesday against three of five people arrested at a remote desert compound in northern New Mexico where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was discovered.

The Taos County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj left the jail late Wednesday afternoon. Another judge made the same decision in the cases of the other three defendants earlier Wednesday.

Child abuse charges against Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj were dropped because prosecutors missed the 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause. Each of the five adults faced 11 charges of child abuse. Authorities alleged the children were emaciated and clothed in rags. He also ordered their release from jail in Taos.

The judge added that it is very hard decision to drop the charges, but he said the state's rule left him with no option.

"Clearly we are far past 10 days", said Kostich, an attorney for Morton, who was arrested August 3.

The letter, written by one of two suspects, in part reads, "Allah says he will protect you always, so follow until he makes you die as a martyr as you wanted, and the only way is by joining the righteous (us)".

After a storm of criticism and insults on social media against his two prosecutors, District Attorney Donald Gallegos appealed for the public to stop "cussing and threatening".

But none of the five defendants had been released prior to Wednesday's hearing.

Lego Built a Full-Size Bugatti Chiron That Actually Drives
To be fair, it wasn't entirely LEGO pieces; there's a steel frame, some batteries, 3d-printed gears, and Bugatti tires. The Lego version is no match for original Bugatti's speed of over 200mph, however - it only got up to 12mph.

Prosecutor John Lovelace said the DA's Office expected the defendants to get out of jail, in which case the state would have had 60 days to hold preliminary hearings.

Under cross examination, Kostich said Vigil's comments were out of place. "... As to extensions", he added, "I don't believe there is a retroactive way to request or grant an extension even if I was to find there were exceptional circumstances".

Meanwhile, authorities have filed charges against the dead boy's father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and his partner, Jany Leveille. Like the other three defendants, Wahhaj and Leveille each had been charged with 11 counts of child abuse.

However, charges leveled against them on Friday, in connection to the death of a missing 3-year-old boy, remained.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj had been wanted by Georgia officials since December after he took his son in order to perform an "exorcism", according to the boy's mother, Hakima Ramzi.

The AP reports that prosecutors could still pursue charges for the other three if they ask a grand jury to indict them, but that the prosecution offered no sign of what they would do. But McElroy swiftly upheld the previous ruling, saying the attorneys had failed to produce sufficient evidence. State District Judge Sarah Backus received more than 200 phone calls and emails criticizing the move, some of which contained threats, said spokesman Barry Massey of the New Mexico Courts.

The new charges of child abuse resulting in death against Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Leveille are tied to an extensive account of Abdul-ghani's death in a journal that prosecutors attribute to Leveille.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.