Lawyer for Aniah Blanchard kidnapping suspect requests court hearing

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OPELIKA, Ala. (WIAT) — The man charged with allegedly kidnapping Aniah Blanchard from an Auburn gas station is seeking to have his day in court.

In a motion filed Wednesday morning, attorney Elijah Beaver requested that his client, Ibraheem Yazeed, have a preliminary hearing in district court. Yazeed is charged with first-degree kidnapping.

“The Defendant is entitled to a preliminary hearing on these charges,” Beaver wrote in the motion.

During a typical preliminary hearing, a judge will hear the charges in the case, as well as arguments from prosecutors and the defense on whether or not the case moved to a grand jury. At times, certain evidence and witness testimony are used by the state to support their case for a grand jury.

The judge will then decide if there is enough evidence to have the case moved to a grand jury. From there, the grand jury will decide whether or not to indict Yazeed on kidnapping charges.

Yazeed, 29, was arrested Nov. 8 in Escambia County, Florida, after being listed as a suspect in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old Homewood native who was attending school at Southern Union State Community College. Blanchard has been missing since Oct. 24.

On Nov. 6, the Auburn Police Department released a video still of Yazeed that was taken in the same convenience store at the same time where Blanchard was last seen Oct. 23.

According to an affidavit, a witness identified Yazeed as the individual he observed forcing Blanchard into a car against her will and then driving off.

Anyone with information about on Aniah Blanchard’s whereabouts should call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391, or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.

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