Baltimore prosecutors filed a movement Wednesday asking for a brand new trial for Adnan Syed, whose case was the topic of the massively standard first season of the “Serial” podcast.
A press release from the state legal professional’s workplace cited newly found proof.
“After a virtually year-long investigation reviewing the details of this case, Syed deserves a brand new trial the place he’s adequately represented and the most recent proof will be offered,” Baltimore Metropolis State’s Legal professional Marilyn Mosby mentioned within the assertion.
Syed is serving a life sentence after he was convicted of first-degree homicide, theft, kidnapping and false imprisonment in February 2000 for the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. He has maintained his innocence and has been interesting his convictions for years.
“As stewards of the court docket, we’re obliged to uphold confidence within the integrity of convictions and do our half to appropriate when this normal has been understood,” Mosby mentioned. “Now we have spoken with the household of Ms. Hae Min Lee and (they) totally perceive that the particular person accountable for this heinous crime should be held accountable.”
The state will request that Syed be launched on his personal recognizance pending the investigation if the movement to vacate his conviction is granted.
“We consider that maintaining Mr. Syed detained as we proceed to research the case with the whole lot that we all know now, after we shouldn’t have confidence within the outcomes of the primary trial, could be unjust,” Mosby mentioned.
The re-investigation revealed proof “concerning the potential involvement of two various suspects aside from Syed,” the assertion mentioned.
“The 2 suspects could also be concerned individually or could also be concerned collectively,” the assertion mentioned.
Adnan and Lee have been seniors at Woodlawn Excessive College in Baltimore County in January 1999 when she disappeared. Her strangled physique was found in a metropolis forest three weeks later.
Mosby mentioned prosecutors are “not asserting, at the moment, that Mr. Syed is harmless” however that the state “lacks confidence within the integrity of the conviction” and that Syed ought to get a brand new trial.
Syed and prosecutors in March filed a joint movement for post-conviction DNA testing, saying that for the reason that crime occurred greater than twenty years in the past, “DNA testing has modified and improved drastically.”
The March movement requested that the sufferer’s clothes be examined for contact DNA, which was not obtainable on the time of the trial. Gadgets now being examined weren’t beforehand examined in 2018 – when the Baltimore Metropolis Police Lab examined numerous gadgets for DNA – apart from the sufferer’s fingernail clippings, Mosby’s assertion mentioned.
Mosby mentioned the movement to vacate was filed together with Sentencing Assessment Unit (SRU) Chief Becky Feldman. Syed was a juvenile when convicted.
The suspects have been recognized individuals on the time of the unique investigation “and weren’t correctly dominated out nor disclosed to the protection,” based on Mosby’s assertion.
The state isn’t disclosing the names of the suspects however mentioned that, based on the trial file, one in every of them mentioned, “He would make her [Ms. Lee] disappear. He would kill her.”
The investigation additionally revealed that one suspect was convicted of attacking a lady in her automobile, based on the assertion. The second suspect was convicted of participating in serial rape and sexual assault, the assertion mentioned.
Among the info was obtainable on the time of the trial, the assertion mentioned, and a few got here to gentle later. It’s not clear when these assaults occurred.
Lee’s automobile was situated “immediately behind the home of one of many suspect’s members of the family,” the assertion mentioned.
Attorneys for Syed introduced the case to the eye of the SRU in April of 2021.
Syed’s attorneys “recognized important reliability points concerning probably the most important items of proof at trial,” Mosby’s assertion mentioned.
Within the 2019 HBO docuseries “The Case In opposition to Adnan Syed,” an legal professional for Syed mentioned his consumer’s DNA was not discovered on any of the 12 samples retrieved from the sufferer’s physique and automobile. That testing was not a part of the official investigation by authorities. HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.
At trial, prosecutors relied on testimony from a pal, Jay Wilds, who mentioned he helped Syed dig a gap for Lee’s physique. To corroborate his account, prosecutors offered cellular phone information and skilled witness testimony to position Syed on the website the place Lee was buried.