Judge drops charges for three in New Mexico compound case
© Getty Images

Judge Emilio Chavez in New Mexico on Wednesday dismissed child neglect charges for three of the five adults arrested at a remote compound where a dead boy and 11 other children living in filth were discovered by authorities. 

Chavez said he could not keep alleged Islamic extremists Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahha in custody because prosecutors missed a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause, The Associated Press reports.

The three could be released as soon as Wednesday afternoon, depending on how prosecutors respond.

ADVERTISEMENT

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the dead boy's father, and Jany Leveille, his partner, are still facing charges of child abuse resulting in death.

The AP reports that prosecutors could still pursue charges for the other three if they ask a grand jury to indict them, but that the prosecution offered no sign of what they would do.

The prosecution had pressed for all five to remain incarcerated, planning to present fresh evidence of an antigovernment plot alongside discussions of jihad and martyrdom.

CNN reported Monday that court documents presented by the prosecution alleged that one of the suspects, Leveille, “intended to confront ‘corrupt’ institutions or individuals, such as the military, big businesses, CIA, teachers/schools and reveal the 'truth' to these corrupt institutions or individuals.”

If her efforts came to nothing, she would signal Wahhaj to “shoot or otherwise attack the non-believer.”

The documents also showed that two of the 11 starving children found in the compound told an FBI agent that they had been trained in “advance firearms handling” and had been told “they would be instructed in the future to attack specific targets such as teachers, schools, banks and other 'corrupt institutions.'"