BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland’s attorney general has less than a month to decide whether to appeal the ruling by the state’s second highest court in Adnan Syed’s favor, the subject of the popular podcast Serial.
It was almost 20 years ago when a passerby found Syed’s ex-girlfriend’s body dumped in the woods, and a new trial in the case is now closer to reality.
The family of murdered Woodlawn High student Hae Min Lee still believes the original verdict was the right one.
Lee’s loved ones wept when WJZ interviewed them shortly before the first verdict in the trial for her killing.
“I just want to see justice done. That’s all,” a family member of Lee said 1999.
They believed Syed was guilty then and still do today, but the major decision this week by Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals means Syed could have a new trial by the 20th anniversary of Lee’s murder.
“All the charges have been vacated. It’s incredible,” said Rabia Chaudry who wrote the book about the case.
Chaudry contacted the creators of the “Serial” podcast–who brought the case worldwide attention–and that brought funding and momentum for Syed’s appeal of his life sentence.
“Adnan is not the only victim here. There is a victim of murder here, and her name is Hae Min Lee,” Chaudry said. “They need to reopen the investigation and look for the person who actually killed her.”
The court’s decision hinged on Asia McClain, who says she was with Syed in a Woodlawn library at the time the killing happened. His attorney never called her to testify. The court ruled jurors should have heard her story.
She’s a friend of Syed’s family–who pushed the creators of the “Serial” podcast to look into the case–now–more than 175 million people have downloaded that podcast.
“Adnan came in. He sat at the table and we weren’t really close friends or anything like that, but we knew each other,” McClain said on the Serial podcast.
Syed’s mother described her pain to WJZ two years ago.
“You know, he was 17 when they took him. When i see him in the court, it’s like he’s a grown man–like 35 years old. So that’s 17 years you know,” Shamin Rahman said in 2016.
“I always did believe in my heart. Especially for my mom,” Adnan’s brother Yusuf Syed said. “She’s very strong and would always tell us in our heart
to keep having hope.”