‘Serial’ murder case: Will alibi witness win Adnan Syed a new trial?

Baltimore Sun

The defense attorney for Adnan Syed, the subject of the first “Serial” podcast, said Syed deserves a new trial at which he can put forth an alibi witness overlooked by his original defense attorneys.

“We believe in our case,” C. Justin Brown told retired Judge Martin Welch on Tuesday morning. “We are fighting absolutely as hard as we can.”

Brown’s comments came after four days of testimony in which Syed, who is serving a life sentence for the 1999 slaying of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, is asking for a new trial.


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Syed’s attorneys failed in their first bid for a retrial in 2012, but the popular “Serial” podcast led to new questions about the case, and a former classmate who said she saw Syed in a library at the time of the murder emerged as willing to testify.

The classmate, Asia McClain, had contacted Syed the day after his arrest, but said his attorneys never contacted her.

Attorneys for the state have argued that the hearing was “inconsequential theater” and say Syed is guilty and the conviction should stand. Deputy Atty. Gen. Thiru Vignarajah was set to give his closing argument before noon.

Brown, Syed’s attorney, said Vignarajah had attacked his case with a “tremendous amount of force, trying to get a square peg into a round hole.”

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t fit,” Brown said.

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