A state judge in New Mexico received thousands of death threats after she granted signature bonds to two men and three women who are accused of abusing and starving 11 children while training them to conduct school shootings.
Death threats flooded a Taos, New Mexico court on Tuesday after liberal Judge Sarah Backus granted "weak" bail for five Islamist terrorists accused of abusing and starving 11 children in squalid conditions at a compound near the Colorado border. The children were reportedly being trained to shoot up schools.
The dead body of a 4-year-old boy was removed from the compound after law enforcement officers raided the complex earlier this month in response to citizen tips that the children were being starved and abused.
Police did not disclose the boy's cause of death or whether he is the son of one of the defendants, Siraj Ibn Wahhai, 40, who is charged with kidnapping his 3-year-old son from Georgia in December.
Judge Backus set a $20,000 signature bail for Wahhaj, and his co-defendants Lucas Morton, 40, Jany Leveille, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35. Bail conditions include wearing ankle monitors and reporting to their parole officers.
Backus told the defendants they would pay $20,000 if their bail was revoked. Her lax bail conditions prompted outrage on social media and thousands of angry comments on news websites.
After Backus granted bond for the 5 terrorists, a Taos County Sheriff confirmed ICE agents took one of the female suspects into custody on an immigration violation.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Jany Leveille, who is originally from Haiti, was transferred Tuesday to custody of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to Sfgate.com.
Leveille, 35, is the mother of six of the children taken into custody following the raid.
Siraj Ibn Wahhai was also detained in custody Tuesday by federal officers on an outstanding warrant out of Georgia on suspicion of kidnapping his then-3-year-old son, who may be the boy whose remains were found inside the compound.
Backus defended her low bail for the suspected Islamist terrorists, saying the prosecutor's evidence against them was "troubling," but the prosecutor "did not articulate any specific threats to the community."
“What I’ve heard here today is troubling, definitely. Troubling facts about numerous children in far from ideal circumstances and individuals who are living in a very unconventional way,” Backus said on Tuesday.
Backus has a history of granting low bail for violent offenders. She recently granted a $10,000 bail to a man who punched out his girlfriend in a New Mexico hospital and slapped their newborn baby after she breastfed the newborn in front of a male doctor.
Death threats directed at Judge Backus prompted the shut down of the Taos County District Courthouse on Tuesday, as outraged citizens demanded her removal from the bench.
Backus was first appointed to the bench in June 2011 by Republican Governor Susana Martinez, who expressed regret at Backus' ruling on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, it highlights how extreme the New Mexico Supreme Court has been in dictating pretrial release for all kinds of dangerous criminals,” Martinez said in a statement.
The backlash spread across the country as furious social media users vented their frustrations at judges like Backus who express their liberal activism from the bench.
A user commented on Heavy.com:
Perhaps we should thank Judge Bakus [sic] as she has helped conservatives much more than most people realize. Judge Bakus [sic] constitutes irrefutable evidence that the Left Wing (aka Democrats, Progressives, Socialist, etc) is completely insane and has no business being elected or appointed to any government position within the United States."
This is Judge Sarah Backus! She is out of her freaking mind! Someone please disbar this woman who is on the side of criminals rather than the law! She is the one who let them go! #TaosCompound #Taos #TaosNM pic.twitter.com/cQItfeNVuu
— AmericaTheBeautiful (@knowrio) August 14, 2018
BREAKING: the Taos County District Court was just closed due to security threats. Judge Sarah Backus apparently received multiple threats for her decision to release the Amalia compound defendants pending trial. pic.twitter.com/mRNoyYrt0z
— Edmundo Carrillo (@mundocarrillo) August 14, 2018
@realDonaldTrump@POTUS @NewMexicoGOP @NewMexicoOAG
THE JUDGE LET THEM OUT!!! ?
Judge, Sarah Backus has granted bail on a mere SIGNATURE BOND, to suspects of the #NewMexicoCompound, stating the State didn't prove clear & convincing evidence. She needs gone from the bench pic.twitter.com/YEIUokJCxb
— Scott Michael (@ScottieMichae18) August 14, 2018