Published: Sat, September 01, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Charges dismissed against 3 in compound case

Charges dismissed against 3 in compound case

All five adults on the compound were arrested, to include three women believed to be the mothers of the rescued children; all were charged with child abuse and one man was charged with harboring a fugitive, Siraj Ibn Wahajj.

A handout photo made available by Taos County Sheriff's Office shows the booking photo of Siraj Wahhaj issued on August 05 2018.Jany Leveille sits in court during a hearing on August 13, 2018, in Taos, N.M.

Prosecutors said Monday the hand-written document was mentioned briefly at a hearing in which District Court Judge Sarah Backus rebuffed prosecutors, saying they "completely failed to establish its origin".

Minutes after Wahhaj and Leveille had the 11 child abuse charges dropped, they had a "first appearance" for new charges, of first-degree child abuse resulting in death and second-degree felony conspiracy to commit child abuse.

Prosecutors could still seek charges for the three by requesting that a grand jury indict them, but as of now have offered no immediate indication on how they would proceed.

In other filings, prosecutors alleged that children had told them that some of the adults at the compound had talked about dying in jihad.

Defense attorneys say their clients have no record of criminal convictions and pose no risk to the public.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany Leveille remain in custody with charges pending for the death of young Abdul-Ghani.

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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 child's badly decomposed remains were found this month inside a tunnel at the high-desert compound near the Colorado state line.

Court officials issued a release to defend the ruling, saying, "The state constitution provides that criminal defendants may be detained in jail pretrial only if prosecutors show by clear and convincing evidence that they are so unsafe that no release conditions will reasonably protect public safety".

Wahhaj and Leveille could be held for up to five days pending a hearing on whether they can be held without bond pending trial. Each of the five adults faced 11 charges of child abuse.

CNN reported this week that investigators had found a "handwritten document titled 'Phases of a Terrorist Attack, '" and that the "extremist Muslims" had allegedly planned to attack a hospital. His father, Siraj Ibn Wahajj, had kidnapped him from Clayton County, Georgia after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

The boy's mother initially reported the boy missing previous year from Jonesboro, Georgia, after Siraj Ibn Wahhaj said he was taking the child to a park and didn't return.

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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