The process of serving justice for 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, and her family, is underway.
Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris, had her remains found in Macon County, Alabama by local authorities late last month. Now, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes has announced that capital murder charges are being filed against 30-year-old suspect, Ibraheem Yazeed. Yazeed has been in custody since early November.
He was charged with first-degree kidnapping upon his arrest. Now, prosecutors in Alabama have announced it was determined, via an autopsy, that Blanchard was killed by a gunshot wound, and they are seeking the death penalty for Yazeed. Yazeed is the only person being charged with her murder.
“In the interests of public safety, I can say that the investigation has determined Ibraheem Yazeed to be the lone person responsible for Aniah’s abduction and her murder and he remains in the Lee County jail without bond,’’ Hughes said (H/T MMA Fighting). “Mr. Yazeed remains innocent of any charges against him until his guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
“From its first moments, 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 serve 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.”
A second suspect, Antwain Fisher, has been arrested for allegedly helping Yazeed dispose of evidence in the murder. David Johnson Jr., a third suspect, was also arrested and charged with hindering prosecution. At the time of the crime, Yazeed was out on bond for separate charges, which include kidnapping and attempted murder. He remains in custody in Alabama after being denied bond.
We here at LowKickMMA offer our condolences to Blanchard’s family and pray justice is ultimately served.