Judge Reopens ‘Serial’ Case, Allowing Man Convicted of Killing Ex-Girlfriend to Introduce New Evidence

A photo of Adnan Syed from 1998. He is serving a life sentence plus 30 years for killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. (Courtesy of Serial)
A photo of Adnan Syed from 1998. He is serving a life sentence plus 30 years for killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. (Courtesy of Serial)

Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction became the subject of popular long-form radio show “Serial,” will be allowed to introduce new evidence, a Maryland judge ordered Friday.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch ordered that Syed’s post-conviction proceedings would be re-opened “in the interests of justice for all parties.”

The new hearing will be limited to just two issues: an alibi witness and the reliability of cell phone tower evidence presented during his 2000 trial. He is serving a life sentence.

“This is obviously great news for Adnan. It brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal of getting him a new trial,” said C. Justin Brown, Syed’s attorney. “What once appeared highly improbable is starting to look more and more probable.”

From the Baltimore Sun:

The Maryland attorney general’s office has argued against Syed’s requests for a new hearing, saying the claims are “meritless.” [In September], Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah said reopening the proceedings would be “inconsequential theater and not in the interest of justice.”

Now, the court will consider a 2015 affidavit from Syed’s alibi witness, Asia McClain, in which she said she remembered talking with Syed in the library at the time prosecutors said the then-teenager killed his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. McClain said she reached out to Syed about helping with his defense, but his former lawyer never contacted her.

Welch said the court may potentially consider McClain’s live testimony and the failure of Syed’s defense lawyer to contact her as a potential alibi.

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SOURCE: Elahe Izadi
The Washington Post