Brow Beat

Serial Subject Adnan Syed Will Get A New Trial

Adnan Syed’s case was made famous by the podcast Serial.
Adnan Syed’s case was made famous by the podcast Serial.
This American Life

Adnan Syed, whose murder case was the subject of the popular and groundbreaking podcast Serial, will get a new trial, a Maryland appeals court ruled Thursday.

Syed was convicted in 2000 of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee and burying her body at a local Baltimore park. At 19-years-old, he was sentenced to life in prison, where he has remained since his arrest in 1999.

He unsuccessfully appealed the conviction in 2012 and tried again in 2016, when a lower judge vacated the conviction on the grounds that his attorney had not effectively represented him by failing to cross-examine a key witness, the state’s cell phone tower expert. The judge granted him a new trial, which the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld Thursday. The ruling follows new evidence presented in 2016 from an alibi witnesses, Asia McClain, who says she was with Syed at the time of the murder.

The 2014 podcast questioned Syed’s guilt and outlined many doubts regarding his legal representation. According to Apple, it was the fastest podcast in iTunes history to reach 5 million downloads, and it topped the charts in countries around the world.