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3 accused of child abuse on New Mexico compound to be freed

In this Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 photo, District Court Judge Sarah C. Backus presides over the hearing in the Amalia, N.M., desert compound case in Taos,...
Defendants, from left, Jany Leveille, Lucas Morton, Siraj Wahhaj and Subbannah Wahhaj enter district court in Taos, N.M., for a detention hearing, Mon...
Defendant Siraj Wahhaj sits in court in Taos, N.M., for a detention hearing, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Wahhaj and several others have been charged with c...

In this Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 photo, District Court Judge Sarah C. Backus presides over the hearing in the Amalia, N.M., desert compound case in Taos,...

Defendants, from left, Jany Leveille, Lucas Morton, Siraj Wahhaj and Subbannah Wahhaj enter district court in Taos, N.M., for a detention hearing, Mon...

Defendant Siraj Wahhaj sits in court in Taos, N.M., for a detention hearing, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Wahhaj and several others have been charged with c...

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Three members of an extended family who are accused of child abuse at a ramshackle desert compound in New Mexico are awaiting release.

The Taos County courthouse has heightened security Wednesday over threats against the judge who cleared the way for the defendants to get out of jail.

State District Judge Sarah Backus' decision has sparked a political uproar along with backlash on social media.

Court officials condemned threats of violence made against the judge and evacuated several court offices Tuesday as a precaution.

The court complex reopened Wednesday with more security in place.

The decision to release four of the five defendants came Monday, despite prosecutors' assertions that the group was training children to use firearms for an anti-government mission and should remain in jail until trial.

U.S. immigration authorities took one of them into custody Tuesday.


Updated : 2021-04-14 04:55 GMT+08:00