Published: Fri, March 30, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Maryland court upholds new trial for man in 'Serial' podcast

Maryland court upholds new trial for man in 'Serial' podcast

Adnan Syed, whose case was made famous by the 2014 podcast "Serial", will get a new trial, a Maryland court ruled Thursday.

Syed, who has always maintained his innocence, won the inmate lottery-insofar as anyone convicted of life in prison for murder can be considered to have lucked out.

Syed's attorneys successfully argued in 2016 that Syed should be granted a new trial. The Court of Special Appeals reversed the circuit court on both issues, which it is what it is. Syed, 35, was convicted in 2000 of kidnapping and strangling his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, 18, and is serving a life sentence.

His story was the subject of the first season of "Serial", which examined the events leading up to and after the murder of Lee.

Classmate Asia McClain allegedly saw Syed in their high school library during the time prosecutors said Lee was murdered.

Hey guys, remember a little podcast called Serial?

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Judge Martin Welch, who overturned the conviction in 2016 in Baltimore City Court, agreed with that assessment, saying that Syed's first attorney "fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment". The appeals court said Syed's original lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, who died in 2004, had failed to defend him adequately by not investigating an alibi witness.

"How can you possibly evaluate an alibi witness without speaking to her?"

The Court of Special Appeals had considered the case during a hearing last June. The ruling can still be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, which means Syed's conviction could be upheld. But the state appealed that ruling.

"We hope that they will come to the conclusion that this has gone on long enough", he said.

"The instant case will be remanded for a new trial on all charges against Syed". "We think we're going to win a trial".

This is a developing story.

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