The child negligence charges were dismissed on Wednesday against three of the five people arrested in a remote desert compound in New Mexico, including Hujrah Wahhaj (pictured) due to a deadline for a missing evidentiary hearing.
A judge on Wednesday dismissed accusations of child neglect against three of the five people arrested in a remote desert complex in northern New Mexico, where 11 children were found to be living in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was discovered.
Judge Emilio Chávez ruled that he could not keep the three in custody because prosecutors skipped a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish the probable cause of the abandonment charges.
Prosecutors could still press charges against the three suspects, Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahha, by asking a grand jury to charge them, but gave no immediate indication as to how they would proceed.
Authorities are continuing with other charges brought against the father of the dead child, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and his partner, Jany Leveille. The boy was identified as Abdul-ghani Wahha, a severely disabled child who had been living with his mother in Georgia before his death.
Security was boosted in the judicial complex in Taos, New Mexico, where Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Wahha awaited his release, amid threats against the state judge that cleared the way for the defendants to leave the county jail.
The charges of child neglect were dismissed against three of the five people arrested in a remote desert complex in northern New Mexico, where 11 children were found to be living in filth and the body of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj (photo) was discovered. year old. a deadline to complete the presentation
Authorities are continuing with other charges filed against the father of the dead child, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (pictured), and his partner, Jany Leveille; Defendant Siraj Ibn Wahhaj is seen here in court in Taos, New Mexico, during a detention hearing on August 13
New Mexico forensic investigators announced on August 16 that the highly decomposed body found in the desert complex in Amalia, New Mexico, was identified as the missing child of Georgia with severe disabilities.
Abdul-ghani Wahhaj was the son of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, who was due to appear in court along with Leveille on Wednesday, after being accused of child abuse resulting in death.
The charges that could lead to life imprisonment in relation to the death of the child.
The child's badly decomposed remains were found this month inside a tunnel in the desert compound near the Colorado state border.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials have accused Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Leveille of denying the child adequate medicine and medical care while dying during rituals designed to expel harmful spirits from the child.
They have not yet entered into supplications.
Jany Leveille, who has been accused of child neglect for the death of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, is seen here in court during a hearing in Taos, New Mexico on Friday
Eleven children were also found living in filth in the complex in Amalia, New Mexico; This photo, provided by the Toas County Sheriff's Department on August 6, shows the conditions
Initially, the child was reported missing last year from Jonesboro, Georgia, by his mother after Siraj Ibn Wahhaj said he was taking the child to a park and did not return.
Forensic medical investigators have not identified the cause and manner of the child's death as they continue their analysis.
Chavez ruled that the other three defendants could be released on Wednesday afternoon, depending on what action prosecutors take.
Prosecutors had lobbied to keep the three in custody as they planned to present new evidence of a plot against the government and speak of jihad and martyrdom among some members of the extended Muslim family who settled in the complex last winter.
New Mexico forensic investigators announced on August 16 that a highly decomposed body found in a desert compound in New Mexico was identified as Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a severely disabled three-year-old boy who had been living in Georgia with his mother ; In this file photo, the improvised housing complex of the extended family in Amalia, New Mexico, as it appeared on August 10, is shown.
Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, the son of Siraj Ibn Wahhaja, was reported missing in Georgia by his mother last year, after Siraj Ibn Wahhaj said he took the boy to a park and did not return; This file photo of August 10 shows an aerial view of the improvised composite
Among the evidence is a handwritten document called & # 39; Phases of a terrorist attack & # 39; which was confiscated from the complex and includes vague instructions for the terrorist once & # 39; and he mentioned a place with no name called the ideal attack site.
Prosecutors wrote in court documents that further interviews with some of the children removed from the site revealed that one of the adults, Morton, stated that he wished to die in jihad as a martyr.
The documents also stated that the defendants Leveille and Subhannah Wahhaj joked about dying in jihad.
Defense attorney Thomas Clark (right) sits next to his client, defendant Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, as defenseman Marie Legrand Miller (second from left) and his client Hujrah Wahhaj (left, with a white handkerchief) during a hearing by charges of child abuse on August 12
Defense attorneys have observed that their clients have no criminal convictions and do not pose any risk to the public.
Federal immigration authorities say Leveille, a native of Haiti, has been in the United States illegally for 20 years after completing a visitor's visa.
The charges against Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Leveille are linked to an extensive account of Abdul-ghani's death in a newspaper that prosecutors attribute to Leveille.
Prosecutors say the boy died in late December of 2017 when his heart faded during a religious ritual aimed at expelling demonic spirits.
Security was increased in the judicial complex amid threats against the state judge that cleared the way for the defendants to leave the Taos County jail, where they are waiting for Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahha accused of abuse child in a desert complex. launching; The jail is shown here on August 15, 2018, in Taos, New Mexico