A New Mexico judge has thrown out charges against three of the five terror suspects, some of whom were also facing child abuse charges that also carried a life sentence. The reason for the charges being tossed is because the prosecution reportedly blew past the 10-day rule, the period in which the state needed to present to the court why these people were risks to the public (via Fox News):
A New Mexico judge dismissed all charges against three suspects tied to a compound where alleged Muslim extremists reportedly trained children to be school shooters.
District Judge Emilio Chavez on Wednesday dismissed charges against three of the five defendants, ruling that authorities violated the state’s “10-day rule.”
Child abuse charges against Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj were dropped because prosecutors missed the 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause.
During a separate hearing, Judge Jeff McElroy separately dismissed some of the charges against fellow defendants, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany Leveille.
All five were arrested earlier this month when their compound was raided by authorities. Eleven children were also found on the property. The conditions were reportedly awful. These kids were being trained to commit mass shootings, targeting schools and hospitals. It’s a terror camp. Most of them were also granted release on bail. If the $20,000 bond threshold seemed low, it’s because the judge, Sarah Backus, has a history of setting low bail for violent offenders. The remains of a three-year-old child named
Abdul-ghani Wahhaj were also found, he was reportedly the son of ringleader Siraj Ibn Wahhaj. Siraj’s father, same name, is an unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He’s also being held over a warrant from Georgia; he allegedly kidnapped his son to perform an exorcism. The investigation into the child’s disappearance led investigators to his compound. He’s also been hit with child abuse resulting in death of a child charges. The Associated Press reported that prosecutors are looking at other ways to ensure all five are charged:
Judge Emilio Chavez ruled that he could not keep the three in custody because prosecutors missed a 10-day deadline for a court hearing to establish probable cause for the neglect charges.
Prosecutors have other options for pursuing charges against the three — Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj. That could include refiling the charges or asking a grand jury to indict them.
Prosecutors had pressed to keep them behind bars 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.
Defense attorneys say their clients have no record of criminal convictions and pose no risk to the public.
Authorities are pushing ahead with other charges against the dead boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and his partner, Jany Leveille.
They were due in court Wednesday on charges of child abuse resulting in death, which could carry life sentences in connection with the death of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj. The severely disabled boy’s badly decomposed remains were found this month inside a tunnel at the high-desert compound near the Colorado state line.
UPDATE: Charges dismissed against all five defendants due to 10-day rule regarding presenting evidence during preliminary hearings. Judge torched the district attorneys office for their incompetence, wonders if the office is overworked.
He says this order for dismissal will be filed at 2pm after 1pm appeal of no-bond decision. Judge notes that state can re-file charges based on new information at a later time, but he does not have much choice to dismiss charges today, citing violating the 10 day rule.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Back in court, as I understand, motion will be heard to dismiss charges against Siraj Wahhaj and Jany Leveille. These two are charged with child abuse resulting in death of Abdul-Ghani (Wahhaj’s son) who was found buried on the #TaosCompound.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
All rise. New judge and Siraj and Jany are in the courtroom.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Judge starts by saying he has vacated other three no-bond appeals because they have been dismissed. That was Morton and Wahhaj sisters.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Woa. Judge Backus has recused herself which is why Judge McElroy will be hearing these motions.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
I don’t know, but, Judge Backus’ recusal is probably not because of death threats and more likely because she was the judge who ruled on denying the no-bond motion in the first place. Just speculating.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Defense for Siraj is up and making the same arguments. Siraj does have an extradition warrant from Georgia. His defense is saying that doesn’t matter, he’s still entitled to preliminary hearing in 10 days.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Interesting caveat, the more severe charges were brought against Siraj and Jany were more recent. Meaning, the 10 day limit would be ending in September. Defense says that shouldn’t matter.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Again, prosecutors didn’t know if they’d be on, “a 10 day track, or a 60 day track.” Reminder, if suspects are not in custody prosecutors have 60 days for preliminary hearing. State thought suspects were getting out. They couldn’t meet terms of release and have been in custody.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Prosecutor says it wasn’t the state of New Mexico holding these two. Siraj’s GA warrant and ICE was holding Jany kept them in custody. Question here is when did the 10-day clock start ticking? That’s what state and defense are arguing now.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Judge is up. He says these two cases are different, however it doesnt change the 10 day rule for a preliminary hearing.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Judge is “upholding law of the state,” says DA office failed.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018
Judge McElroy is hammering the DA office. He says he doesn’t know if the office is overworked or what, but he finds it disturbing the state didn’t play by the rules. Notes the DA is not present here.— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) August 29, 2018