NATIONAL NEWS

Jurors in New Mexico deliver split verdicts in kidnapping and terrorism case

Oct 17, 2023, 1:31 PM | Updated: 1:52 pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jurors on Tuesday delivered split verdicts in a case that stemmed from the search for a 3-year-old boy who went missing from Georgia and was found dead hundreds of miles away at a squalid compound in northern New Mexico.

Four members of the family were on trial. Three were found guilty on federal kidnapping charges. Two were convicted on related terrorism charges. The boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, was one of the two people found guilty of terrorism-related charges.

His brother-in-law, Lucas Morton, was found guilty of the same charges, as well as conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death and kidnapping resulting in death.

Jurors reached their decision Tuesday after deliberating for two-and-a-half days. They heard weeks of testimony from children who had lived with their parents at the compound, other family members, firearms experts, doctors and forensic technicians. The defendants, who are Muslim, argued that federal authorities targeted them because of their religion.

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Jurors in New Mexico deliver split verdicts in kidnapping and terrorism case