BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland murder case captivates millions when it becomes a hit online podcast. Now the man convicted of killing his high school girlfriend will get a chance to appeal.
Those closest to the story told in “Serial” gathered in Baltimore to talk about it.
Rick Ritter explains how the story could have a new ending.
Fifteen years ago, Adnan Syed was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend. But his family and friends claim he’s an innocent man behind bars.
It’s the world’s number one podcast, captivating listeners across the country.
“It puts a spotlight on Baltimore for sure,” said Jessica Swadow, University of Baltimore School of Law.
“Serial” digs into the twists and turns of a gruesome murder right in our area.
“I think this is one of the great miscarriages of justice in our state of Maryland,” said Doug Colbert, University of Maryland School of Law professor.
In 1999, Hae Min Lee, an honor student at Woodlawn High School, was found strangled. Her ex-boyfriend, the athletic and popular Adnan Syed, was convicted of killing her.
Lee was found dead in a shallow grave in Leakin Park. One of Syed’s friends claims he helped dig the hole to bury her body.
Syed’s conviction hinged on his friend, who testified. But there was no physical evidence to connect him.
At the University of Baltimore School of Law, some of the key characters from the podcast shed light on the case, including his best friend, Saad Chaudry, who claims Syed is innocent.
“There’s really no evidence to say he’s guilty, but it’s really hard for someone to show evidence to show that he’s not guilty,” said Chaudry.
The podcast put the case in the national spotlight. Since, Syed won a motion to appeal and present new evidence to fight his case, saying his trial attorney failed to pursue a key witness.
“Not interviewing an alibi witness in a case is inexcusable,” said Chris Flohr, Syed’s former attorney.
Years later, his initial lawyers still believe prosecutors have the wrong suspect. They’re hoping the podcast helps land Syed a new trial.
Syed’s appeal is scheduled for June of this year when he could be granted a whole new trial.
Season one for the “Serial” podcast ended in December. Season two comes out later this year.