The man suspected in the abduction and killing of Aniah Blanchard pleaded not guilty to capital murder charges.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 33, of Montgomery, will be tried on three counts of capital murder in Blanchard’s death.
Blanchard, a Homewood native, was reported missing on Oct. 24, 2019, and her body was found over a month later. She was last seen in Auburn, where investigators believe Yazeed tried to steal her car and kidnap her from a gas station. It is thought that Blanchard fought back, and that’s why Yazeed shot her in the head. Her body was later dumped in a wooded area in Macon County.
If convicted on any of the three counts, capital murder during a kidnapping in the first degree, capital murder during a robbery in the first degree, or capital murder involving a victim in a vehicle, Yazeed could face the death penalty.
The death of Aniah Blanchard led to a new law in Alabama dubbed “Aniah’s Law.” The law expands the list of crimes in which judges may hold suspects without bond. In addition to capital murder, those charges now include murder, sexual torture, terrorism and aggravated child abuse of a child under the age of six, as well as first-degree rape, kidnapping, sodomy, domestic violence, human trafficking, burglary, arson and robbery.
At the time of Blanchard’s death, Yazeed was out on bond on charges of kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder.
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