Father, partner plead not guilty in toddler’s compound death

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

Judge drops charges for three in New Mexico compound case | TheHill

The three faced 11 counts of child abuse and neglect after police raided their ramshackle settlement north of Taos on August 3 and said they found 11 children with no food or clean water.

A New Mexico judge on Wednesday dismissed child abuse charges against three people from a desert compound near Taos where a toddler's body was found, citing procedural errors, but he delayed the order to give prosecutors time to refile.

After his prosecutors missed a critical deadline in five high-profile child abuse cases dropped Wednesday (Aug. 29) in Taos District Court, 8th Judicial District Attorney Donald Gallegos issued a statement defending his office and assuring the public the cases will be reopened.

District Judge Emilio Chavez made the decision Wednesday in the first hearing.

While Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj were released from jail yesterday, Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj continue to be held on other felony child abuse charges filed last Friday (Aug. 24).

She said state prosecutors had not indicated whether they meant to file new charges against the three, who have been accused by police and prosecutors of planning attacks on schools.

The two, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his wife, Jany Leveille, are facing separate charges related to the death of Wahhaj's 3-year-old son at the compound. The 3-year-old boy's remains were found at the compound days after the raid.

Prosecutors and law enforcement officials alleged Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Leveille denied the boy proper medicine and health care as he died in December 2017 during rituals created to cast out harmful spirits from the boy.

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Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Leveille will remain jailed at least until a hearing next week.

The three could be released as soon as Wednesday afternoon, depending on how prosecutors respond. His father, Siraj Ibn Wahajj, had kidnapped him from Clayton County, Georgia after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Officials allege Wahhaj also trained children to commit school shootings, teaching them how to use firearms and tactics for killing teachers and police.

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

The three still face a criminal trespassing case in magistrates' court in Taos County for building their makeshift settlement on a plot of land near Amalia, New Mexico, that did not belong to them, Mitsunaga said.

Investigators found a "handwritten document titled 'Phases of a Terrorist Attack, '" CNN reported - along with clues that the "extremist Muslims" had allegedly planned an attack on a hospital.

Federal immigration authorities say Leveille, a native of Haiti, has been in the United States unlawfully for 20 years after overstaying a visitor visa.

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