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SANTA FE – The state Attorney General’s Office is getting involved in fighting a judge’s controversial ruling that allows defendants arrested at a remote Taos County compound – and accused of training children to carry out armed attacks – to get out of jail pending trial.
The Muslim defendants remained behind bars Monday, as finding them a place to stay in Taos area is proving to be difficult.
The article goes on to state the following:
In response to questions from the Journal, AG’s Office spokesman David Carl said in an email that the office “is collaborating” with the Taos District Attorney’s Office “related to options to challenge” state District Judge Susan Backus’ order rejecting a prosecutors’ motion to hold the compound defendants until trial.
Claire C. Welch of the AG’s Criminal Appeals Division has filed a request for an audio recording of the Aug. 6 pretrial detention hearing for all five defendants.
The five adults – Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Lucas Morton, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35 and Jany Leveille, 35 – were charged with 11 counts of child abuse after Taos County deputies and other officers raided the makeshift compound near Amalia on Aug. 3 and found 11 children, ages 1 to 15, who appeared to be malnourished.
The remains of 3-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj – who was allegedly abducted by his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, in Georgia in December – were found at the compound three days later. The cause of death has not been determined.
In her Aug. 13 ruling after a four-hour hearing, Backus authorized the defendants’ release and said prosecutors hadn’t met the standard of “clear and convincing evidence” to prove they would be dangerous if released from jail. The ruling set off a firestorm on social media, and threats against the judge caused the Taos courthouse to close for an afternoon.
We are honored to share additional resources with District Attorney Gallegos and his team. Working cooperatively among agencies is vital to improving community safety in New Mexico.https://t.co/FnQXSl9bj1
— NM Attorney General (@NewMexicoOAG) August 21, 2018
Well New Mexico…here is your reform…now you are upset? Judge had no choice in the matter because of jail reform laws just passed in New Mexico.https://t.co/nIq6pE3z7y
— Roche Surety, Inc. (@SuretyRoche) August 20, 2018
— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) August 14, 2018
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