The father of a 3-year-old boy found dead in a filthy New Mexico compound and his partner pleaded not guilty Wednesday to new charges of child abuse resulting in death after lesser charges were dismissed against them and other members of their extended family as the result of a deadline missed by prosecutors.
The dead boy's father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (see-DAHJ' IBN wah-HAJ'), and his partner Jany Leveille remained silent as pleas were entered by a judge on their behalf. The charges could carry life sentences in the death of Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj (ahb-DOOL' GAH'-nee wah-HAJ').
Their pleas came after a judge dismissed child neglect charges filed against them earlier this month. Another judge made the same decision involving three other defendants earlier in the day.