Aniah Blanchard kidnapping suspect receiving death threats in jail, attorney says

Attorney files motion to reconsider bond in the case

Aniah Blanchard kidnapping suspect receiving death threats in jail, attorney says
Ibraheem Yazeed charged with Kidnapping First Degree. (Source: WBRC)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The attorney for Ibraheem Yazeed, the suspect in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard, says Yazeed has received death threats in the Lee County Jail and was moved to solitary confinement for his security.

Attorney Elijah Beaver filed a motion Thursday asking the judge to reconsider Yazeed’s bond in Lee County so he can return to jail in Montgomery County, where he is facing charges in other offenses and where the motion says no security concerns have been identified.

The motion states denying bond for Yazeed, who is charged with first-degree kidnapping, constitutes a due process violation. Beaver states Yazeed was not offered an opportunity to respond to the state’s motion, and the court granted the motion without a hearing or examining any evidence.

The motion also claims the state’s allegation that Yazeed has “an extensive history of violent criminal offenses” is false, saying Yazeed’s criminal record contains no convictions for any violent charge at all.

“All told, Mr. Yazeed has spent approximately three years of his life in jail for six different crimes that he did not commit,” the motion reads. “And in each of those six cases, the State did not bring the case to trial. The State failed even to produce enough evidence to convince a grand jury of probable cause.”

Before his arrest in the Lee County case, Yazeed was out of jail on bond for charges of attempted murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of first-degree robbery in connection with a February case out of Montgomery. When he was identified as a suspect in the Blanchard case, Montgomery District Court Judge Pamela Higgins revoked his combined $280,000 bond.

Beaver also filed a motion for the gag order issued in the case to be enforced in regards to the family, saying statements made by Blanchard’s parents constitute a threat to Yazeed’s safety. The attorney argues because Blanchard’s parents met with Auburn police in reference to the missing person complaint they are “potential witnesses” in the case and are therefore subject to the gag order.

“A gag order runs afoul of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the motion reads. “While certain protections to due process may be appropriate to ensure a fair trial in this case, those protections must be equally construed and enforced if they are to be effective.”

The court issued a gag order in the case on Nov. 8.

Yazeed has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 20 at 9 a.m.

Blanchard was reported missing Oct. 24, and the search for her is ongoing.

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