Adnan Syed of Serial Gets a New Trial

Judge vacates his murder conviction
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2016 4:32 PM CDT
Adnan Syed of Serial Gets a New Trial
In a Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 file photo, Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore prior to a hearing.   (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File) WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT /The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Adnan Syed, subject of the Serial podcast, will get a new trial. On Thursday, a Baltimore judge vacated Syed's murder conviction in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 2000, and granted his request to be tried again, the Baltimore Sun reports. Judge Martin Welch wrote in his opinion that Syed's attorney was "ineffective" when she didn't cross-examine the state's expert about the reliability of evidence based on cellphone tower locations. "WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!! #FreeAdnan," tweeted Syed's lawyer Thursday.

Syed's attorneys had previously argued that the cellphone records were questionable and that a key witness, who could have provided an alibi for Syed, was also overlooked by Syed's original lawyer. Serial spoke to that witness, but it was Undisclosed, a spinoff podcast, that revealed the cellphone tower evidence might be unreliable. An AT&T engineer's sworn statements on cellphone data were used to connect Syed to the park where Lee's body was found, but that engineer has since said his testimony would have been different had he seen a disclaimer about the data that he was not shown, the New York Times reports. Syed's brother said the family is "feeling great" after the judge's decision. (More Serial stories.)

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