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UPDATED: ‘Serial’ Star Adnan Syed Might Get That Retrial


Adnan Syed, via ABC screengrabA convicted murderer, made famous by the podcast Serial, pushes for a retrial Wednesday. Adnan Syed, 35, says Maryland prosecutors used bad evidence when charging him in the 1999 disappearance and murder of Hae Min Lee, for which he was convicted.

The appeal zeroes in on possible alibis. His attorney, C. Justin Brown, insists “cell tower evidence used against him was unreliable and should have been excluded from trial.” This detail is essential to his client’s defense, Brown writes. That’s true, since cell phone data apparently pinned Syed at the spot where Lee was buried.

Brown also wants the court to include a statement by Syed’s then-schoolmate, Asia McClain. In an affidavit, she written she’d seen Syed at the school library at the time of Lee’s disappearance.

Syed is best known as the season 1 subject of Serial, a popular podcast. There, host Sarah Koenig investigated him, and the people surrounding his 2000 conviction for the murder of classmate and ex-girlfriend Lee.

The show’s popularity had a lot to do with how Koenig examined evidence that Syed was potentially wrongfully accused: allegations of incompetent defense at trial; possibly unreliable witnesses; and cops who might have bypassed other potential suspects.

Then again, Syed still might have done the deed. Koenig points out her many doubts about him, even during their phone interviews. It’s that question—guilty or innocent—that drove a lot of show’s popularity.

A post-conviction hearing is expected to start today, and last three days. Syed currently serves a life sentence plus 30 years.

[h/t USA Today]

[image via ABC screengrab]

Update — Feb. 3, 12:16 p.m. EST: Attorney Brown says Syed’s former attorney, Cristina Gutierrez (who has passed way), botched his 1999 and 2000 trials. Justin Fenton, reporter for the Baltimore Sun, has been covering the post-conviction hearing:

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