Judge in New Mexico compound case announces retirement

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TAOS (AP) — A New Mexico judge who faced threats for allowing the release pending trial of suspects charged with child abuse at a ramshackle compound has announced her retirement.

Court officials say Judge Sarah Backus submitted her resignation letter Friday. She intends to retire at the end of the month.

In a statement Tuesday, Backus said she was honored to serve as judge in a district that includes Taos County, and noted her "controversial ruling" in August that cleared the way for the compound suspects' release.

Prosecutors argued the group was training children to use firearms for an anti-government mission — which the defendants' attorneys have disputed.

Backus said her decision last year stemmed from reforms that set high evidence standards to hold suspects without bail.

The suspects were later placed in federal custody on separate charges.