The judge in the New Mexico Muslim compound case issued another decision Wednesday that has resulted in public outrage.
'It’s beyond reason.'
Judge Emilio Chavez dismissed charges of child neglect against five suspects over a technicality that prosecutors failed to follow.
Judge Chavez said he had no discretion in the matter, since suspects have the right to an evidentiary hearing within 10 days of being apprehended in order to establish probable cause.
The three suspects to be released are Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj.
The other two suspects, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his partner Jany Leveille, were immediately charged by prosecutors on new charges of child abuse resulting in death. Along with the 11 children found living at the compound in squalor, police discovered the body of a 3-year-old boy who had gone missing and died in the care of the suspects.
The two suspects are accused of neglecting to provide proper medicine and health care to the boy, and other children from the compound allegedly told police that he was subjected to rituals to cast out demons.
The 10-day evidentiary rule was imposed by the state supreme court. Prosecutors now have the choice to refile the charges, or seek a grand jury indictment against them.
The deceased 3-year-old, Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, was being sought by police since his disappearance in Georgia last December.
Here's a local news video of the judge's ruling
'Ought to be impeached'
Republican actor James Wood summarized some of the public reaction to the judge's decision, saying, "This is so stunning, it’s beyond reason."
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee put the blame on the judge for following the law, instead of the prosecutors who failed to hold the required hearing.
"Judge ought to be impeached," Huckabee tweeted. "Basically rules it's okay to kidnap, kill, imprison, and train kids to be mass murderers."
Judge ought to be impeached. Basically rules it's okay to kidnap, kill, imprison, and train kids to be mass murderers. Disgusting! Were the kids' lives worth NOTHING to this jerk judge? https://t.co/uQwteLAGHR
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 29, 2018
"Disgusting! Were the kids' lives worth NOTHING to this jerk judge?" he added.