Accused killer, kidnapper of Aniah Blanchard denies guilt

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

An Alabama man accused of the 2019 kidnapping and killing of the stepdaughter of a UFC fighter has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case, authorities said.

A Macon County grand jury in November indicted Ibraheem Yazeed on three counts: capital murder during a kidnapping, capital murder during a robbery and capital murder of a victim in a vehicle in the slaying of Aniah Blanchard, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. He entered the plea during his arraignment Monday.

Yazeed, 33, is in custody at the Lee County Detention Center where he’s been held without bond.

Blanchard, who was a student at Southern Union State Community College, was last seen alive Oct. 23, 2019, in Auburn. Court records show a witness saw Yazeed force Blanchard into her car outside a convenience store.

Blanchard’s car was found at a Montgomery apartment complex days later. It was scraped, dented and containing evidence of blood. The woman’s remains were discovered in Macon County about a month after she was reported missing.

Yazeed was out on bond for kidnapping and attempted murder charges at the time of Blanchard’s death.

In 2021, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill named after Blanchard that would allow judges to deny bond to people accused of committing violent crimes.

Blanchard was the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris.