Defendants, from left, Jany Leveille, Lucas Morton, Siraj Wahhaj and Subbannah Wahhaj enter district court in Taos, N.M., for a detention hearing, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Several defendants have been charged with child abuse stemming from the alleged neglect of 11 children found living on a squalid compound on the outskirts of tiny Amalia, New Mexico. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, Pool)
Earlier this month, state and federal agents raided a compound near Taos, NM. There they found five adults, eleven malnourished children, and the corpse of a dead child who’d gone missing from Georgia. In addition, federal agents said there was evidence that the children were being trained to carry out school shooting.
In what was a surprising outcome in a case that involved an obvious homicide of some type, the judge hearing the case allowed all the defendants to go free on what amounted to their own recognizance. (And no, New Mexico law does not require kicking dangerous felons loose without bail.)
Here’s part of the judge’s order denying the prosecutors’ motion to deny bail to the #NewMexicoCompound adults.
— Ryan Mauro (@ryanmauro) August 14, 2018
They were back in court today with prosecutors presenting new evidence of what was going on in the compound:
Prosecutors had pressed for continued incarceration and planned to present new evidence of an anti-government plot and talk of jihad and martyrdom among some members of the extended Muslim family that settled at the compound last winter.
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.”
Prosecutors wrote in court documents that new interviews with some of the children taken from the site revealed that one of the adults, Lucas Morton, stated he wished to die in jihad as a martyr, and that defendants Jany Leveille and Subhannah Wahhaj joked about dying in jihad.
Instead of ordering them held in custody, the judge kicked three of the defendants free.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 29, 2018
MORE INFO: Judge Emilio Chavez ruled to dismiss child abuse charges against 3 defendants because they didn’t have a preliminary hearing in the 10-day time frame required by New Mexico State law for defendants held in custody.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) August 29, 2018
Apparently, prosecutors violated what is called the “ten-day rule.”
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.
First, it is insane that given a homicide was committed that any of these people were free without any guarantee they’d show up for trial. While it is likely that the father and his, I’ll say it, illegal alien girlfriend were the culprits, there is no way of knowing that without a comprehensive investigation. The just alleging “islamophobia” rather than taking de minimis efforts to protect innocent people is they type of dumbf***ery I hope the voters remember when her retention election comes up. The prosecutor who missed a known deadline for a hearing needs to have his ass kicked. Hard. Publicly. And several times.
Apparently, the prosecutors can present the evidence to a grand jury and revive the charges. How they plan to keep people who are not pending charges in New Mexico to wait for that to happen is not said.
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