TAOS – Lawyers for three of the defendants arrested at a remote Taos County compound earlier this month have filed motions to dismiss the child abuse charges against them, arguing that prosecutors missed a crucial deadline.
The dismissal motions were filed by lawyers for Lucas Morton, 40, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Hujrah Wahhaj, 37. The lawyers say that prosecutors missed a 10-day deadline to hold preliminary hearings for the incarcerated defendants to determine if there is sufficient “probable cause” to proceed to trial, and that the child abuse charges therefore should be dismissed.
During the Aug. 3 raid of the ramshackle compound, officers found 11 children ages 1 to 15 who they say appeared to be malnourished. Each of five adults arrested after the raid faces 11 counts of felony child abuse.
The two other compound defendants, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany Leveille, both 35, have been in different legal situations. Leveille, a native of Haiti, was turned over to immigration authorities, who say she has lived in the U.S. illegally for 20 years. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was being held under warrants out of Georgia for the alleged kidnapping of his 3-year-old son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, in December.