Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance could lead to change in Alabama bond laws

Gavel on sounding block
Gavel on sounding block(Source: Gray News)
Updated: Nov. 14, 2019 at 4:28 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - One state lawmaker plans to change how bonds are offered to violent criminals, after Ibraheem Yazeed was charged with kidnapping 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard of Homewood.

Yazeed was out on bond for attempted murder and kidnapping when prosecutors say he kidnapped Blanchard.

It’s been almost three weeks since Aniah Blanchard went missing. Her mother, Angela Harris says her disappearance continues to be emotionally hard on her family.

“Our lives will never be the same. We will never move the same again,” Harris said.

Alabama Senator Cam Ward says, as a father of a 17-year-old, he has been touched by Blanchard’s disappearance.

“This a big issue for me and I’m going to continue to work on it as long as I can. I can tell you, what this family went through, no other family should have to go through that,” Ward said.

Senator Ward said he plans to introduce legislation similar to Arizona’s, which restricts bond for those accused of violent crimes in the past.

“At the end of the day, several states have legislation; laws in place that say bail can be denied, bond can be denied for someone previously arrested for a class A felony,” Ward said.

Former lawmaker and Homewood attorney Paul DeMarco has been in contact with lawmakers urging a solution. DeMarco has written an editorial calling for changes.

“Bring in all the stakeholders to the table. Meet with the district attorneys. Meet with law enforcement. Bring in the judges,” DeMarco said.

Harris would like to see some change so no other family will have to endure what her family has.

“It’s one thing to maybe be your first time, if your charged with something and out on bond, but we are not talking about one time,” Harris said.

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