The recommendation to reject his request for appeal in his murder conviction will now be considered by a higher court

Credit: Courtesy of Yusuf Syed/AP Photo

New details from NPR’s Serial sensation. Subscribe now to read how key players cast doubt on the 16-year-old case, in this issue of PEOPLE.

The murder conviction of Adnan Syed – spooled out in the much-heard podcast Serial – should be allowed to stand, according to the Maryland attorney general’s office, which has recommended that the court reject Syed’s request for an appeal.

The 12-episode series about the 1999 strangulation murder of Syed’s high school ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee turned its millions of listeners into Internet sleuths. Following the 2000 conviction and life sentence given to Syed, his family has spent nearly 15 years trying to clear his name.

“We know he didn’t do it,” Syed’s mother, Shamim Rahman, told PEOPLE. “Somebody else did it.”

But the state disagrees, and in papers filed this week, the attorney general and assistant attorney general of Maryland say they “respectfully request that the Court deny” Syed’s latest appeal.

The 34-year-old Baltimore man, who became a household name when the Serial podcast revisited his case late last year, claimed he received ineffective counsel and that his defense attorney did not seek a plea deal for him. The attorney general’s office countered Wednesday that “there is no proof whatsoever that [Syed] and the State could have presented a plea agreement that was acceptable to the court.”

That response will now be reviewed by the appeals court itself, which has announced no timetable for resolving Syed’s request.

For more details about the case, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday