Alabama News Network, Other Media Companies Ask that Gag Order Be Lifted in Yazeed Case
Several media outlets statewide, including Alabama News Network, have filed a motion to have the gag order lifted in the case against Ibraheem Yazeed. He is the man accused of kidnapping Aniah Blanchard.
That gag order prevents lawyers, witnesses or people who might be called as witnesses from talking to the media.
Blanchard disappeared in Auburn on October 23. Her car was later found in Montgomery, but there’s been no sign of her.
She is a 19-year-old student at Southern Union College and is from Homewood, which is just outside of Birmingham.
Yazeed was arrested in Florida, but because of the gag order, we don’t know much about his arrest or the status of the search for Blanchard.
The two were seen on surveillance video at a convenience store in Auburn on the same night, and a witness says Yazeed forced Blanchard into a car against her will.
We have a statement from the president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association about the motion filed to lift the gag order, so that we may pursue more information.
President Sharon Tinsley says, “The Alabama Broadcasters Association, along with other professional organizations, television stations and newspapers, has filed a motion in this case because it’s important that trials and all related hearings, etc., are held in the open.
When the very first hearing was held in a closed court and a gag order was put in place, we knew we needed to go on record.
We’re respectfully asking that the court does not continue to conduct this trial in this manner.
Our judicial system, like the other branches of our government, must conduct itself with transparency – open to the people,” she said.
We will keep you updated on whether the judge in Lee County will agree and lift the gag order.
We do want to remind you that reward money totaling $105,000 is being offered in this case. If you have a tip, call CrimeStoppers at (334)215-STOP.