Serial Case: Adnan Syed’s Lawyer Reveals New Evidence
Adnan Syed’s lawyer, Justin Brown, has submitted new evidence that he says casts doubt on his client’s case.
Adnan Masud Syed, 35, who is the subject of the hit podcast Serial, is serving a life sentence for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999.
Justin Brown says key mobile phone data used to convict Adnan Syed of killing his ex-girlfriend in 2000 was unreliable.
Adnan Syed’s defense team is trying to reopen the case based on some of the questions raised in the Serial podcast over whether Syed had received a fair trial.
Serial, which was released in weekly installments at the end of 2014, became a global hit, breaking records as the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads on iTunes.
In the 2000 trial, prosecutors weighed heavily on mobile phone records that allegedly placed Adnan Syed at a park in Baltimore where Hae Min Lee’s body was buried.
Adnan Syed, who was 17 at the time, has always maintained his innocence.
However, a motion filed in court on August 24 by Justin Brown said a newly recovered mobile phone document showed “the cell tower evidence was misleading and should have never been admitted at trial”.
In it, Justin Brown says mobile phone carrier AT&T had issued a warning about the accuracy of mobile tower data, which he argues would have made the phone records inadmissible as evidence.
“Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location,” reads a note on a cover sheet from AT&T for Adnan Syed’s phone records.
Justin Brown says prosecutors presented incoming calls as evidence to determine Adnan Syed’s location.
It “is an extremely important piece of evidence, and we are bringing it to the court’s attention as quickly as possible,” Justin Brown told The Baltimore Sun.
Adnan Syed’s lawyer is also seeking to reopen court proceedings to allow testimony from a key witness who may be able to provide Syed with an alibi in the case.
Asia McClain, a friend of Adnan Syed’s who was not heard in the original trial, claims to have seen him in a library at the time of the suspected killing.
The fact that Adnan Syed’s first lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, failed to submit this evidence in the original trial was one of the arguments used to win him the right to appeal in February.
Adnan Syed’s lawyer has since filed a motion for appeal, though the court in Maryland has yet to respond.