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Friday May 29th, 2020 8:39AM

The Latest: 3 New Mexico compound defendants released

By The Associated Press

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a remote New Mexico desert compound where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a boy was discovered (all times local):

6:55 p.m.

Authorities have confirmed three of the defendants arrested on child neglect charges in the New Mexico compound case have been released from jail after a judge dismissed charges against them due to a missed deadline by prosecutors.

The Taos County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj left the jail late Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors have other options for pursuing charges against the three, including seeking indictments from a grand jury.

Prosecutor John Lovelace declined to comment on how the district attorney's office will proceed.

Two other defendants remain jailed on more serious charges of child abuse resulting in the death of a 3-year-old boy whose body was found at the compound earlier this month.

___

2:45 p.m.

The father of a child found dead in a filthy New Mexico compound earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to new charges of child abuse resulting in death.

The dead boy's father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (see-DAHJ' IBN wah-HAJ'), and his partner Jany Leveille, who also is charged with the same crime, remained silent in court as the new charges were read.

The pleas followed a decision by a judge to dismiss initial child neglect charges against them. They were arrested this month at a remote compound where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was discovered.

Authorities say Wahhaj and Leveille denied the boy proper medicine and health care as he died in December 2017 during a religious ritual aimed at casting out demonic spirits.

___

12:45 p.m.

A New Mexico judge has dismissed child neglect charges against three defendants arrested at a remote compound in where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was discovered.

Judge Emilio Chavez ruled Wednesday that he had no discretion to keep the three defendants in custody since prosecutors missed a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause for the neglect charges.

Prosecutors could still try to pursue charges by seeking an indictment from a grand jury.

Prosecutors offered no immediate indications Wednesday as to how they will proceed.

Another hearing is planning Wednesday afternoon to deal with new charges filed against the dead boy's father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (see-DAHJ' IBN wah-HAJ'), and his partner Jany Leveille. They are accused of child abuse resulting in death.

___

12:00 a.m.Judges will consider crucial decisions Wednesday about child neglect and abuse charges against five defendants arrested at a remote compound in northern New Mexico where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was retrieved.

A couple is confronting new charges of child abuse that could carry life sentences in connection with the death of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj (ahb-DOOL' GAH'-nee wah-HAJ'), a severely disabled boy whose badly decomposed remains were found this month within a tunnel at the high-desert compound near the Colorado state line.

Prosecutors and law enforcement officials have accused the boy's father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (see-DAHJ' IBN wah-HAJ'), and partner Jany Leveille of denying the boy proper medicine and health care as he died during rituals designed to cast out harmful spirits from the boy. They have not yet entered pleas.

The boy initially was reported missing last year from Jonesboro, Georgia, by his mother after Siraj Ibn Wahhaj said he was taking the child to a park and didn't return. Forensic medical investigators have not identified the cause and manner of the boy's death as they continue their analysis.

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