A federal judge dismissed child neglect charges against three of the five Islamic extremists arrested earlier this month at a compound in New Mexico, where they were reportedly keeping 11 children in squalor and training the kids in how to carry out school shootings. And apparently, this latest court decision was based on a technicality.
A judge on Wednesday dismissed child neglect charges 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.
Judge Emilio Chavez ruled that he could not keep the three in custody because prosecutors missed a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause for the neglect charges.
Prosecutors could still seek charges for the three — Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahha — by asking a grand jury to indict them but offered no immediate indication on how they would proceed.
Authorities stumbled upon the New Mexico compound while searching for radical Islamic leader Siraj Wahhaj’s missing three-year-old disabled son. They found the little boy’s remains wrapped in rags and buried in a tunnel on the property after authorities say he died during an “exorcism” his father performed as part of a healing ritual. Law enforcement also reportedly found 11 more children, aged 1 to 15, living in filth, alleging the children were being groomed to carry out terrorist attacks on schools.
"Among the evidence is a hand-written document called "Phases of a Terrorist Attack" that was seized from the compound and includes vague instructions for 'the one-time terrorist' and mentioned an unnamed place called 'the ideal attack site.'", WHSV3 explains.
Jany Leveille, a Haitian woman and Wahhaj's reported partner, was also arrested and charged with child abuse and taken into custody by immigration officials, who say she’d been living in the U.S. illegally for over 20 years. Wahhaj and Leveille still face charges of child neglect.
The judge presiding over the case previously released released all five suspects on $20,000 bond each on the conditions that they remain under house arrest, wear ankle-monitoring bracelets, remain free of drugs or weapons, and not visit their former compound.