Maryland's Attorney General Is Fighting the New Trial Ruling for 'Serial' 's Adnan Syed

Syed's new trial could be more than a year away, his attorney has told PEOPLE

Photo: Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS/Getty

Maryland’s attorney general has asked that any new trial for Serial subject Adnan Syed be held pending the appeals process, as the state intends to fight the recent ruling that overturned Syed’s 2000 murder conviction, PEOPLE confirms.

The state made their request in a court document filed Thursday, which was obtained by PEOPLE, and has until Aug. 1 to file an appeal of the ruling.

Justin Brown, Syed’s attorney, previously told PEOPLE that an appeal could drag out the possibility of a new trial up to “a year or longer.”

“Part of it is up to the state to see how long they would drag it out,” he said.

Brown declined to comment Tuesday.

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On June 30, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed’s conviction and life sentence for the 1999 death of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The pair had been high school seniors in Baltimore at the time of her death.

Syed’s case came to national prominence in the popular first season of the NPR podcast, which scrutinized the case made against him.

RELATED VIDEO: Adnan Syed of Serial Podcast Will Get a New Trial as Murder Conviction Is Vacated

Syed has always maintained his innocence, though Lee’s family believes “justice was done” by his conviction.

In 2013, Welch denied Syed’s first post-conviction relief efforts. But for Syed’s second post-conviction relief hearing, in February, Syed’s defense team presented new evidence: a fax cover sheet from AT&T undercutting the reliability of cell phone records prosecutors used to put Syed at the scene where he allegedly buried Lee’s body.

The prosecution’s cell phone expert was not aware of this information at the time he testified at Syed’s trial – and when he learned about the new information he signed sworn affidavits stating he was concerned about his earlier testimony concerning the reliability of the incoming calls.

Welch ruled in June that because Syed’s original defense attorney, M. Cristina Gutierrez, did not cross-examine the cell expert on this issue during Syed’s 2000 trial, she was so deficient that the conviction should be vacated and he should be granted a new trial.

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