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Charges dropped against alleged accomplice in Aniah Blanchard case

Photo courtesy of Walt Harris’ Instagram

Ibraheem Yazeed is now the primary target of prosecutors in the disappearance and death of Aniah Blanchard after charges were dropped against one of his alleged accomplices.

A judge granted a prosecution request to drop a kidnapping charge against Antwain “Squirmy” Fisher, who initially was accused of assisting Yazeed by providing transportation and disposing of evidence in the crime, per reports in the Montgomery Advertiser and AL.com.

Fisher was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday to answer on charges of aiding and abetting Yazeed. But Lee County Assistant District Attorney Garrett Saucer conceded Fisher wasn’t present “during the commission of the principal offense” and that his “conduct is akin to that of a common-law ‘accessory after the fact.’”

In a statement given to AL.com, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said Mr. Fisher’s conduct didn’t “rise to the level of accomplice liability as was originally charged and as is required under Alabama law.” He noted Fisher also wasn’t in the county when the alleged crime took place.

”The investigation into the murder of Aniah Blanchard is still ongoing and we will continue to evaluate and exhaust all leads in the pursuit of justice for Aniah and her family,” Hughes said.

Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris, was found dead by police in rural Macon County, Ala., after a frantic one-month search that involved multiple police agencies. Her last known communication was over the phone with a friend on Oct. 23.

Police later recovered her vehicle 55 miles away in Montgomery. According to charging documents, police found blood from Blanchard that was “indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury.” Police believe she was shot and dumped in a wooded area.

During their investigation, police discovered surveillance video that showed Blanchard and Yazeed were present at the same time at a Chevron gas station in Auburn. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued for Yazeed, who at the time was out on bond for charges of attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and two counts of first-degree robbery.

Yazeed was later arrested and charged with capital murder, and the state announced its intention to seek the death penalty. A witness allegedly saw Yazeed force Blanchard into her car per an Auburn police officer who testified at Yazeed’s preliminary hearing. Charging documents for Yazeed claim a witness heard him confessing to shooting Blanchard after she went for his gun.

Fisher initially was charged with first-degree kidnapping. A second man, David Lee Johnson Jr., was accused of hindering prosecution in connection to the case.

A memorial for Blanchard is set for Dec. 21 in Birmingham. Harris, who withdrew from a scheduled fight at UFC on ESPN 7 after her disappearance, released a tribute to his stepdaughter, writing, “my lil mighty mighty tiger is a angel now.”

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