June 25, 2020
Montgomery County Cold Case Task Force Investigations Lead to Arrests in Two Unsolved Murders
Montgomery County, Ala. – At a joint news conference today, District Attorney Daryl Bailey and the Montgomery County Cold Case Task Force announced that arrests warrants have been issued in connection to two Montgomery cold case homicides.
Ibraheem Yazeed has been charged with murder for the 2018 death of Stephen Hamby, who was shot multiple times in a wooded area near the Salvation Army on Maxwell Boulevard. Yazeed is currently being held without bond in the Lee County Detention Facility as he awaits trial on kidnapping and capital murder charges for killing Southern Union State Community College student Aniah Blanchard.
District Attorney Bailey also announced that Del Juan Smith has been charged with the 2016 murder of Rafael Montiel-Perez. While sitting in his car on the 600 block of North Pass Road, Montiel-Perez was struck and killed by gun crossfire. Smith is serving five years in the Fountain Correctional Center on an unrelated robbery charge.
The Montgomery County Cold Case Task Force is a collaboration between the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Montgomery Police Department. Formed in 2019 and supported by the Montgomery County Commission, the Task Force is charged with revisiting investigations that have stalled, developing new leads and ultimately solving cold case murders.
DA Bailey was joined at the press conference by Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley, Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham, Montgomery County Commissioners, and members of Stephen Hamby’s family.
The City and County leaders and Hamby’s loved ones praised the Task Force, led by Montgomery Deputy DA Damon Lewis, for their work in the investigation of the cold cases. DA Bailey also extended a special thank you to Task Force Investigators Guy Naquin and Antony Shannon, who tirelessly pursued and followed-up on new leads that led to the arrests warrants for Yazeed and Smith.
DA Bailey said: “Due to the hard work of the Montgomery County Cold Case Task Force, two murders have been solved and two alleged murderers will be brought to justice. Because of this Task Force, these victims’ families now will be able to see justice in a courtroom. I am very proud of the work of the investigators in the Cold Case Unit. Because of this collaborative unit, these two cases are just the tip of the iceberg of cases that will be solved.”
Stephen Hamby: On December 1, 2018, Stephen Hamby and Geraldine Talley, who were both homeless at the time of the shooting, were shot multiple times in a wooded area near the Salvation Army on Maxwell Boulevard. Hamby sustained several gunshot wounds to the body and Talley was shot in the face. Hamby was pronounced dead on scene, while Talley was transported to UAB Hospital suffering from life-threatening injuries. She recovered, but later died of natural causes.
Newly discovered witnesses and the re-examination of evidence collected at the scene led the Cold Case Task Force to develop Ibraheem Yazeed as a suspect in Hamby’s murder.
Rafael Montiel-Perez: On January 22, 2016, Millbrook resident Rafael Perez-Montiel was caught in gun crossfire while sitting in his car on the 600 block of North Pass Road. Montiel-Perez was found shot and taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Newly discovered evidence and witnesses led to the arrest of Smith for this murder.
**As required by law, it should be noted that these charges are merely accusations and that both Ibraheem Yazeed and Del Juan Smith are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.**