TAOS, N.M. (AP) – 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.