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In the final moments of her life, Aniah Blanchard may have tried to reach for her alleged kidnapper's gun in a desperate attempt to fight him off before being shot, according to witness testimony revealed in new court documents.
Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, was last seen alive on surveillance footage at a convenience store the night of Oct. 23, where her accused killer Ibraheem Yazeed was also seen.
Yazeed is now facing two counts of capital murder after allegedly kidnapping the 19-year-old Alabama college student and killing her in her own vehicle, local station WALA reports.
New court filings reveal a witness later reported seeing Blanchard’s car at a residence in Montgomery. Yazeed—who was only wearing shorts with a gun tucked into them at the time—told that person that he had Blanchard’s vehicle, but the witness couldn’t see Blanchard at the time. The witness also told authorities that Yazeed said he shot a girl and said she “went for the gun,” the records state.
The court documents also show that a witness at the convenience store saw Yazeed interacting with Blanchard near her car outside the store, according to The Montgomery Advertiser.
Yazeed was also captured exiting the passenger side of Blanchard’s vehicle and then re-entering it on another gas station’s surveillance footage. Her car was seen a final time traveling south on South College Street toward the interstate, records show.
Blanchard’s abandoned vehicle was found several days after she disappeared, parked at a Montgomery apartment complex 55 miles from where she was last seen. Investigators have said “a life-threatening amount of blood” was found in the vehicle.
Her body was found more than a month after she disappeared. An autopsy revealed the teen had been shot to death.
In court, Wednesday, Yazeed had an outburst in front of the judge about the new murder charges filed against him.
“Y’all have no video, no audio of me shooting anyone, that’s why I’m trying to see how y’all going to bind me over on hearsay, but y’all aren’t presenting no evidence,” he said, according to WALA.
Earlier this week, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes announced that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty in the case.
“The process of seeing justice done for Aniah and her family will not be swift, but I can promise it will be thorough,” he said at a Monday press conference to announce the decision, according to the local paper.
Investigators have said they believe Yazeed is the person responsible for Blanchard’s death; however, two other men are also facing charges in the case.
Antwain “Squirmy” Fisher, 35, is facing first-degree kidnapping charges for allegedly giving Yazeed a ride and helping to destroy evidence in the case. A third man, 63-year-old David Lee Johnson Jr., is facing charges of hindering prosecution in the case.
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