Adnan Syed gets new trial
Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast series serialwalked out of court to cheer after a Maryland judge overturned his murder conviction and ordered his release after more than 23 years behind bars.
Baltimore City Circuit judge Melissa Phinn vacated the 41-year-old’s conviction and allowed him a new trial on Monday.
His conviction came after prosecutors said a nearly year-long investigation had cast doubt on the validity of cell tower data and revealed new information about the possible involvement of two alternative undisclosed said suspects.
Officials now have 30 days to decide whether to drop the charges against Syed entirely. There is reason to believe that they will.
Meanwhile, Mr. Syed remains in home detention with a GPS bracelet tracking his movements.
Syed was convicted in 2000 of first degree murder, theft, kidnapping and imprisonment of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
Lee, 18, disappeared after dropping out of high school on January 13, 1999. Her strangled body was found about a month later in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park. Mr Syed has always maintained his innocence.
Who is Jay Wilds?
Adnan Syed’s 2000 conviction relied heavily on testimony from his friend Jay Wilds, who claimed that Syed confessed to murdering Lee and enlisted his help in digging a hole to bury her body in Leakin Park, Baltimore.
Wilds said he agreed because Syed threatened to tell police he was running a drug operation, which he feared would land him a hefty jail sentence.
The serial podcast raised questions about the reliability of his testimony, saying he changed his story several times — especially about where he was when he saw Lee’s body.
In 2019, Wilds spoke out publicly for the first time in an interview with The Interception where he continued to insist that he saw Lee’s body and helped Syed dispose of it.
However, he again changed parts of his story, saying that he first saw Lee’s body in the trunk of a car outside his grandmother’s house — and not in the parking lot of a local Best Buy, as he said at the trial.
He claimed he lied to the police to protect his grandmother because he was dealing drugs from her house at the time.
“I didn’t tell the police it was in front of my house because I didn’t want to involve my grandmother,” he said.
“I believe I told them it was for Cathy’s [a psuedonym] house, but it was in front of my grandmother’s house. I know it didn’t happen anywhere but at my grandmother’s house.
“I remember the highway traffic on my right and I remember standing there on the curb. I remember Adnan standing next to me.”
He added: “At the time, I was convinced that I would go to jail for a long time if he… [Adnan] turned me in for drug dealing, especially against high school students. I was running too [drug] operations from my grandmother’s house. So that would ruin her life too. I was also around a lot of people earlier in the day [at Cathy’s]and I didn’t want them to be ruined with murder.”
Syed has accused Wilds of lying at trial.
In filing to quash Syed’s conviction, Baltimore prosecutors have expressed doubts about Wilds’ reliability as a witness.
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 16:50
What we know about two alternate suspects in the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee?
Adnan Syed walked out of court a free man on Monday after a nearly year-long investigation uncovered new evidence about the possible involvement of two alternative suspects in the 1999 murder of college student Hae Min Lee.
On Monday, Baltimore City Circuit judge Melissa Phinn vacated the 41-year-old’s conviction “in the interest of justice,” granted him a new trial and ordered him to be released under house arrest as the investigation into Lee’s murder continues.
His release came days after Maryland prosecutors filed a bomb request to quash his conviction.
On Wednesday — after more than two decades behind bars where Syed continued to maintain his innocence of any involvement — Baltimore City State attorney Marilyn Mosby filed a motion to overturn his conviction.
She said “the state has lost confidence in the integrity of the conviction” based on doubts about the validity of cell phone records and new information about two unnamed suspects.
Wednesday’s court did not name the two alternative suspects in the case, citing an ongoing investigation.
However, prosecutors said the two deputy suspects were known to the initial investigation into the 1999 murder and had not been properly excluded or disclosed to the defense.
The independentRachel Sharp’s has the full story:
Adnan Syed Released: What We Know About Two Alternate Suspects in ‘Serial’ Murder
The serial podcast named Ronald Lee Moore, a Baltimore career criminal and accused murderer, as a suspect in the murder of Hae Min Lee
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 16:19
Adnan Syed pictured enjoying newfound freedom
Adnan Syed is pictured enjoying his newfound freedom at home with his family and supporters.
The 41-year-old, who was 17 when he was arrested and charged with murder, was released Monday after 23 years behind bars.
His freedom comes after lawyer and family friend Rabia Chaudry fought for years for his release, with his case finally getting attention after she contacted journalist Sarah Koenig.
Ms. Koenig then presented the series podcast series Serial about the case.
Ms Chaudry shared a photo of her and Syed smiling together at his family home, following the judge’s ruling on Monday.
“I wake up full of joy #WeFreedAdnan,” she tweeted Tuesday morning.
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 15:48
Maryland’s new Juvenile Reduction Act sent the case to the prosecutor’s office
It all started when Maryland’s Juvenile Restoration Act went into effect on October 1, 2021.
The law offers offenders who were minors at the time of the offense the opportunity to request a reduced sentence.
By law, the offense must have taken place when the person was a minor and must have served at least 20 years of the sentence.
Syed was 17 when he was arrested and charged with strangling Lee in 1999.
By 2022, he had spent 23 years behind bars.
Once the law went into effect, his lawyers asked for a reduced sentence.
His case ended up at the desk of Becky Feldman, head of the Baltimore City Attorney’s Office’s Sentencing Review Unit, to review the request and she was “hampered by the case,” according to the new episode of Serial released Tuesday.
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 15:15
Adnan Syed lost ‘hope’ in freedom before the shock was unleashed
Adnan Syed had been “trying to suppress hope” that he would someday regain his freedom, before his shock release on Monday, it has been revealed.
On a new episode of the Serial podcast, Sarah Koenig revealed that the 41-year-old had recently lost confidence that his conviction would be overturned.
Syed was 17 when he was arrested and charged with strangling Hae Min Lee in 1999.
He had spent the past 23 years behind bars.
On Monday, a judge overturned his conviction and ordered his release.
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 2:47 PM
Series Reveals Notes About Another Potential Suspect That Led To Conviction
The discovery of two handwritten notes about another potential suspect ultimately led to Adnan Syed’s conviction being dismissed, according to a recently released Serial episode.
The podcast, which first brought the case to global attention and cast doubt on Syed’s guilt in 2014, released a new episode on Tuesday morning titled “Adnan is Out” — just hours after he left court a free man.
In it, journalist Sarah Koenig revealed what ultimately led Baltimore prosecutors to reconsider the 41-year-old’s conviction for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
Earlier this year — 23 years after the brutal murder — Becky Feldman, head of the Baltimore City Attorney’s Office Sentencing Review Unit, had come across two old, “messy” handwritten notes bearing the name of another potential suspect.
The independentRachel Sharp’s has the full story:
Comments on possible suspect led to Syed sentencing change, Serial reveals
Notes revealed two separate phone calls from two different people who notified prosecutors more than twenty years ago about another potential suspect.
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 2:14 PM
Serial releases new episode about the release of Adan Syed
Serial, the popular podcast that brought the case to international attention and raised doubts about Adnan Syed’s conviction, has released a new episode after his release.
The episode titled “Adnan is out” explains why the prosecution decided to demand the quashing of his conviction.
Rachel SharpSeptember 20, 2022 13:30
ICYMI: How a podcast cast doubt on Adnan Syed’s murder conviction
While Adnan Syed’s conviction is overturned, Clémence Michallon recalls the podcast that transformed a genre.
How Serial Revolutionized True Crime and Sowed Doubt Over Adnan Syed’s Murder Conviction
As Baltimore prosecutors demand the release of Adnan Syed’s conviction, Clémence Michallon recalls the podcast that changed a genre
Sravasti DasguptaSeptember 20, 2022 13:00
ICYMI: Timeline of Adnan Syed .’s Legal Battle
More than two decades after his arrest for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Adnan Syed has finally been released from prison.
Now prosecutors have 30 days to decide whether to drop the charges or try Syed again.
Rachel Sharp reports on the case that has been going on for more than two decades:
Timeline of Hae Min Lee’s Murder and Adnan Syed .’s Legal Battle
Syed’s sudden release marks just the latest twist in a case that’s been going on for over two decades
Sravasti DasguptaSeptember 20, 2022 12:02 pm
Home leftovers have never tasted so good
After 23 years in prison, Adnan Syed seems to be enjoying some of the simpler things after his high-profile 1999 murder conviction was released.
Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and friend of the Syed family, posted a video Monday afternoon showing the 41-year-old enjoying some leftover dumplings.
Josh MarcusSeptember 20, 2022 10:30 am