Aniah Blanchard

Alabama House approves 'Aniah's Law' named for slain teen

Feb 24, 2021
Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

 

The Alabama House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday that gives judges more discretion to deny bail for people accused of violent crimes.

The two bills, which together create Aniah's Law, are named after 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard who was abducted and killed outside of Auburn. At the time of the abduction, the suspect was free on bond from an earlier kidnapping case.

The bills will now make their way to the Alabama Senate after being passed unanimously in the House.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

 

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama police detective revealed new details in the capital murder case against a man accused of kidnapping and killing the stepdaughter of a UFC fighter. 

News outlets report the detective testified Wednesday that 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard drove Ibraheem Yazeed to a gas station in Lee County last October. Yazeed's attorney said Blanchard willingly let Yazeed into her car and there was no proof of a kidnapping.

Right now in Alabama, people accused with some of the most serious crimes in the state are allowed out on bail. One state senator is working to keep violent offenders who are charged with these crimes locked up longer. But, in this journalism collaboration with the commercial news team at WVUA23-TV, some say there are unintended consequences in what seems like a law and order issue.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill named for a slain college student that would allow judges to deny bond to people accused of committing violent crimes. 

Representatives unanimously approved the proposed constitutional amendment, and accompanying enabling legislation.  The bills now move to the Alabama Senate. 

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

State senator Cam Ward says he plans to file a bill to revoke bond for more offenses after the death of Aniah Blanchard.

In a news conference in Montgomery last Tuesday, Ward said the 19-year-old’s death inspired the proposal. The suspect in her death was out on the maximum bond in the state’s bail schedule when she died. The Eighth Amendment, which covers bail and punishment law, could prohibit the changes Ward wants. Defense attorneys say it would likely face opposition in court. Blanchard was the stepdaughter of a UFC heavyweight fighter.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

An Alabama judge has dismissed a kidnapping charge against one of the three men arrested in the disappearance of a UFC heavyweight fighter’s stepdaughter who was later found slain.

A Lee County judge dismissed the charge Tuesday against 35-year-old Antwain Shamar Fisher in the case of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard. A motion presented by the assistant district attorney said an investigation revealed Fisher was not present during Blanchard's abduction.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a man being charged with capital murder in the shooting death of the stepdaughter of a well-known UFC fighter, authorities announced Monday.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said at a news conference that the capital murder charge is being filed against 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed in the death of Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old Alabama college student and stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama district attorney said Monday that authorities have “good reason” to believe human remains found in a wooded area belong to the missing stepdaughter of a UFC heavyweight fighter.

The remains were found on a county road in neighboring Macon County, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told The Associated Press.

“I can confirm that human remains have been found in Macon County on County Road 2 and we have good reason to believe they are that of Aniah Blanchard,” Hughes said.

Ibraheem Yazeed
Escambia County Jail

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A man charged in the disappearance of a missing Alabama college student is due in court for a hearing that could reveal some evidence about the case.

Court records show a Lee County judge has scheduled a preliminary hearing for next Wednesday for 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed. His lawyers requested the appearance.

The hearing could reveal some of the evidence authorities have gathered about the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

 

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A Texas-based nonprofit that works to find missing people across the country has called off its search for UFC heavyweight Walt Harris’ missing stepdaughter.

Destinie Duvall of Texas EquuSearch tells WRBL-TV the horse-mounted search group is heading home after using “every resource available” to search for 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard in Auburn, Alabama.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Blood evidence in the car belonging to UFC heavyweight Walt Harris' missing stepdaughter shows she suffered "a life-threatening injury," police records show.

An Auburn, Alabama, police charging document released after the arrest of Ibraheem Yazeed on Friday says a state lab determined the evidence matched Aniah Blanchard, who was reported missing on Oct. 24, news outlets reported.

Ibraheem Yazeed
Escambia County Jail

 

A man wanted in the disappearance of UFC fighter Walt Harris' stepdaughter has been apprehended in Florida, but the whereabouts of the woman he's accused of abducting remained a mystery Friday.

Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested and booked into the Escambia County Jail early Friday. Jail records show he's being held as a fugitive after being charged in Alabama with first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard. She was last seen at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama, on Oct. 23.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police want the public's help in identifying a man seen inside the Alabama convenience store where the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris was last spotted.

News outlets report Auburn police released images of the man late Wednesday that showed him inside the store during the time that 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard was seen there Oct. 23.

She was reported missing the next day and her car was later found abandoned over 50 miles (90 kilometers) away in Montgomery. Police said the car contained evidence that Blanchard had been harmed.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A reward is up to $30,000 for information about the missing stepdaughter of an Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight.

The president of the mixed martial arts fighting league, Dana White, tweeted a video saying he's offering $25,000 in the case of 19-year-old Aniah Haley Blanchard.

The money is in addition to a $5,000 reward offered by the state of Alabama, where the college student was reported missing a week ago from the town of Auburn.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Authorities are searching for the stepdaughter of Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Walt Harris after she was reported missing from Auburn, Alabama.

Nineteen-year-old Aniah Haley Blanchard was last seen Wednesday. Police on Monday released video showing her in a store that day.

Earlier, police announced the teen's abandoned and damaged car had been found at an apartment complex in Montgomery about 55 miles (90 kilometers) away. The vehicle wasn't damaged before Blanchard's disappearance.