BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Millions have listened to his story on the podcast called “Serial,” but now it could have a whole new ending. A Maryland appeals court has decided to review the murder conviction of Adnan Syed.
Mary Bubala reports his family is speaking out from their Baltimore County home.
The fate of convicted killer Adnan Syed, profiled in the podcast “Serial,” is now in the hands of a Maryland Court of Special Appeals, hearing the argument that his defense lawyer didn’t properly do her job.
His family delivered the news to Syed over the phone.
“My brother didn’t believe my mom, so when I grabbed the phone and I told him, he was so happy. He was just laughing,” said Syed’s brother, Yusaf Syed.
Syed was sentenced to life in prison for the death of Hae Min Lee, an honors student who was strangled in 1999.
The prosecution’s key witness was a drug dealer named Jay Wilds, who claimed he helped Syed bury Lee’s body in Leakin Park.
As “Serial” delved into the twists and turns of the case, it cast doubt on Wild’s account. It also left listeners wondering why another student, who could have provided an alibi for Syed, was never interviewed by his lawyer, nor called to testify.
Syed’s trial attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, died in 2004. To this day, he maintains his innocence.
“No one could ever come with any type of proof or anecdote or anything to ever say that I was ever mad at her, that I was ever angry with her, that I ever threatened her,” Syed said.
“It’s like one day, you know, you have a nice family, you have three children, you want to raise them, give them education. And suddenly, it’s like the storm comes, you know, they destroy everything,” said Syed’s mother, Shamim Rahman.
Fans of the podcast have donated more than $80,000 toward Syed’s legal fund. His family is grateful for all the support “Serial” has generated for his case.
“He gets a lot of letters from people that are supporting him, and that believe that he didn’t get a fair trial,” Syed’s brother said.
The appeal is scheduled for June of this year, where Syed could be granted a whole new trial.
Season one for the Serial podcast ended in December. Season two is coming out later this year.