TAOS, NM (AP) — A judge has ruled that five defendants have more than four years on trial after they were found in a filthy New Mexico compound containing 11 malnourished children and the body of a young boy.
But multiple motions filed by defense attorneys last week could delay proceedings again.
Taos County Sheriff’s Officers raided the connection in remote northern New Mexico in August 2018, saying they also discovered a shooting range and firearms.
In a second search, days later, authorities reported finding the decomposing remains of a 3-year-old boy from an underground tunnel.
According to authorities, the child was the son of one of the five adult suspects and was reported missing by his mother in Georgia.
All five members of the extended family are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime against the United States and provide material support to terrorists.
Their lawyers said the defendants would not be charged with terrorism if they were not Muslims.
Albuquerque TV station KOB reports that defense attorneys filed motions last week to get the judge to drop all kidnapping charges.
The group says they are immune from kidnapping laws because the dead boy’s father had custody of him at the time.
They also say the autopsy report lists the official cause of death as undetermined.
In addition, defense attorneys are asking the judge to discard all evidence obtained from the compound by the sheriff and the FBI during the execution of the search warrant.
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