AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Court documents indicate investigators believe Aniah Blanchard fought back against her alleged murderer and kidnapper and went for his gun, before she was shot and killed.
30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed is the Montgomery man investigators suspect of kidnapping and killing 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard.
Ibraheem was in a Lee County Courtroom Wednesday afternoon for his initial court appearance after charges were upgraded from Kidnapping to Capital Murder.
Yazeed is now charged with two counts of Capital Murder involving a death during a Kidnapping and the second Capital Murder charge deals with using a deadly weapon or a firearm while the victim is in a vehicle.
Yazeed spoke directly to the judge about the second Capital Murder charge levied against him. The judge told Yazeed to consult with his attorney during the exchange:
“Judge: I’d rather you run it by your lawyers first.
Yazeed: I’m just saying the first time they’re saying that a kidnapping happened at a gas station so how does two warrants how does two capital murders warrants.
Judge: As your lawyer….
Yazeed: You see what I’m saying? you binding it over saying they got probable cause saying an eye witness supposedly seen me forcing somebody in the car and now it’s a whole different statement I don’t mean to cut you off Judge I apologize I’m just saying this is not fair. I got rights too,” said Ibraheem Yazeed during a courtroom exchange with the Judge.
The Lee County District Attorney’s Office will seek the death penalty in the case.
The probable cause in the Affidavit Charging Crime obtained by News 3 has been updated including new details in the case:
“The victim’s vehicle, a black 2017 Honda CRV, was later located abandoned in Montgomery, Alabama. Blood evidence was discovered in the passenger’s compartment of the vehicle that was indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury. The evidence was submitted to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and confirmed to be that of Aniah Blanchard. Video evidence from a convenience store located at South College St. in Auburn placed both Blanchard and a black male later positively identified as Ibraheem Yazeed at the store during the same time. During the subsequent investigation, a witness observed Yazeed interacting with Blanchard near her vehicle in front of the convenience store. Further video evidence was located from a separate gas station in Auburn depicting Yazeed exiting the passenger side of Blanchard’s vehicle, and later re-entering the vehicle. Blanchard’s vehicle is last seen traveling south on S College St towards the interstate. A subject was located who advised Yazeed was next seen at a residence in Montgomery wearing only shorts with a gun tucked into the shorts. The subject stated Yazeed was in possession of Blanchard’s vehicle, however, he did not see Blanchard at the time. The subject further advised during a subsequent conversation with Yazeed, Yazeed admitted to shooting a girl, and stated the girl “went for the gun.”
Blanchard vanished in the overnight hours of October 24th, kickstarting a month-long search for the teen. The search ended in heartache the day before Thanksgiving as the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences confirmed human remains discovered Monday, November 25 in the Shorter community off Macon County Road 2 belonged to the Auburn teenager.
“In the interest of Public Safety, I can say the investigation has determined Ibraheem Yazeed to be the lone person responsible for Aniah’s abduction and her murder and he remains in Lee County jail without bond,” said Hughes.
Ibraheem Yazeed remains at the Lee County Detention Facility on no bond.
During Wednesday’s court hearing there was a discussion related to the gag order in the case. The judge is deciding if a gag order will remain.
Auburn police said they received information leading them to County Road 2 and Blanchard’s remains were located several feet into the woodline near a church.
“This case has shaken our community to its core and I cannot say enough about how the Auburn Police Division and every other agency involved in this case responded to the report of Aniah’s disappearance. From its first moment’s, law enforcement moved swiftly and methodically to find Aniah’s abductor, her murderer and her. The process of seeing justice done on behalf of Aniah and her family will not be swift but it will be thorough. It is my intention that the response to this horrific crime serves as a warning to anyone who believes they want to come to Lee county and engage in violent criminal behavior. You will be dealt with and the consequences will be severe,” said Hughes.
35-year-old Antwon “Squirmey” Fisher of Montgomery is charged with Kidnapping First Degree.
They are both being held in the Lee County Detention Facility. Yazeed has no bond and Fisher was originally given a no bond as well. After Blanchard’s remains were located a judge set a $50,000 bond. However Fisher remains incarcerated.
David Johnson Jr. is charged with Hindering Prosecution in Montgomery for his alleged role in Blanchard’s disappearance. He has posted a bond.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN ANIAH BLANCHARD CASE:
Wednesday Night – October 23: Blanchard is seen on video at the Chevron Gas Station along South College Street in Auburn, Alabama. The video is the last known image of Blanchard.
Thursday – October 24: Blanchard is reported missing to the police by her family. Investigators say Blanchard’s SUV is seen traveling in the early morning hours along South College Street in Auburn, Alabama.
Friday Night – October 25: Blanchard’s black Honda CR-V SUV is recovered at Park Place Apartments in Montgomery, Alabama. The vehicle has been damaged. Evidence is recovered from inside the vehicle.
Thursday – October 31: Police confirm for the first time publicly evidence taken from inside the SUV tested by the Department of Forensic Sciences indicates Aniah Blanchard has been harmed and is a victim of foul play. A “life-threatening” amount of Blanchard’s blood was discovered in the vehicle.
Monday – November 6: Police ask public assistance in identifying a person of interest seen on surveillance video inside Auburn Chevron gas station along South College Street at the same time as Blanchard. Investigators say Yazeed was in the store purchasing an alcoholic drink when Blanchard walked in and Yazeed turns and noticed her as he got change. Investigators say they located a witness who claims he saw Yazeed push the teen into her vehicle and drive off.
Tuesday – November 7: 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed of Montgomery named as the wanted suspect in the Kidnapping of Aniah Blanchard. Yazeed is taken into custody in Pensacola, Florida at 11 p.m.
Friday – November 22: Second suspect in disappearance of Aniah Blanchard arrested identified as Antwon Fisher, AKA Squirmy, charged with Kidnapping 1st degree. Investigators say Fisher provided assistance to Yazeed by providing transportation to Yazeed and disposing of evidence.
Monday – November 25: Human remains suspected to belong to Aniah Blanchard located in Macon County.
November 25: Prosecutors confirm 63-year-old David Johnson Jr. was arrested and charged with Hindering Prosecution in Montgomery. An affidavit indicates David Johnson Jr. lied to investigators about Yazeed’s actions after Blanchard vanished. The affidavit alleges detectives discovered later Johnson III, the son of Johnson Jr., drove Yazeed to Florida and Johnson Jr. later admitted he knew Yazeed was wanted the first time officers came to the residence and that he saw Yazeed leave with his son.
Wednesday – November 27: The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences confirms remains located along County Road 2 in Macon County belong to 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard. The positive identification comes 35 days after the quest to find Aniah began.
Monday – December 2: 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed charged with Capital Murder in the kidnapping and murder of Aniah Blanchard. The state announces it will seek the death penalty.
News 3 will continue to update you. on this developing story.