Adnan Syed, the Baltimore man whose murder trial was profiled in the podcast Serial, will get to request that his case be reopened.
The victory brings him one step closer to a possible re-trial. Syed, 34, was convicted in 2000 for the murder of his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, and has maintained his innocence ever since.
On Monday, Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals granted a request by Syed’s lawyers to have the case remanded back to a circuit court and also granted a stay of Syed’s appeal, stating that it is “in the interest of justice.”
“We believed that a stay of this appeal and a limited remand to the circuit court is in the interest of justice,” Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser ruled.
Syed’s lawyers claim his original trial lawyer, Christina Gutierrez, “rendered ineffective assistance” by failing to interview Asia McClain, a potential alibi witness whose account of the events leading up to Lee’s murder was also featured on Serial.
McClain has said that she saw Syed in the Woodlawn High School about the time he allegedly murdered Lee, and she also stated in an affidavit that an assistant state’s attorney discouraged her from attending Syed’s post-conviction hearings.
Syed is currently serving a life sentence for Lee’s murder.
In an interview with Baltimore’s WBAL, Adnan’s brother Yusuf said that Adnan was “excited and happy.” “This all comes from God,” Yusuf said.
In April, it was reported that Syed’s story will continue to be profiled in a new podcast.
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