Court orders new trial for Adnan Syed, subject of ‘Serial’ podcast
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was the subject of the widely popular podcast “Serial,” was one step closer Thursday to a new trial.
Now 36-years-old, Syed was convicted in 2000 at the age of 18 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
According to CNN, the Maryland Court of Appeals — in a 2-1 ruling — ordered a new trial for Syed on all charges, upholding a lower court ruling from 2016.
“He’s happy, he’s very happy,” lawyer C. Justin Brown told CNN. “He’s been waiting 18 years to hear this.”
Prosecutors have 30 days to appeal the decision or they will proceed with a new trial.
In January 1999, Syed’s ex-girlfriend was reported missing after she failed to pick up her young cousin from school, a job she did every day.
A month later, Lee’s strangled body was found in a shallow grave in a local park and, following a tip from an anonymous phone call, authorities arrested Syed, who was ultimately charged with her murder.
According to CNN, during the 2000 trial, prosecutors relied on the testimony of Syed’s friend Jay Wilds and cell phone records to place Syed at the site where Lee was buried.
In 2016, a Baltimore Circuit Court Judge vacated Syed’s conviction, according to CNN, and ordered a new trial based on claims that Syed’s attorney at the time of his conviction failed to cross-examine an expert witness on cell phone record reliability.
The state appealed that order, leading to Thursday’s decision for a new trial.
Syed’s lawyer told CNN they are optimistic the new trial will happen.
“If we go to trial, we will win that trial,” Brown told CNN.
As for whether Syed will be released on bail before a new trial, Brown told CNN: “It’s something we’d consider revisiting.”