Adnan Syed hearing live: ‘Serial’ subject appears in court as judge weighs overturning murder conviction

Adnan Syed gets new trial

Adnan Syed, the 41-year-old who was the subject in the hit podcast series Serialis appearing in a Baltimore courtroom on Monday afternoon where the judge could throw out his conviction.

Syed was convicted in 2000 of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and imprisonment of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

Lee vanished after leaving her Baltimore high school on January 13, 1999. Her body was found in a shallow grave in a park around a month later.

Syed has always maintained his innocence and denied any involvement in Lee’s death.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a motion asking a judge to vacate his murder conviction after new evidence came to light about the possible involvement of two other suspects and doubts have been raised about the reliability of cellphone evidence used at trial.

“After a nearly year-long investigation reviewing the facts of this case, Syed deserves a new trial where he is adequately represented and the latest evidence can be presented,” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement.


Prosecutor asks judge to release Adnan Syed

Prosecutor Becky Feldman has asked the judge to vacate Adnan Syed’s conviction and release him from prison.

She said that the state’s failure to turn over information about other potential suspects to the defense is grounds for his conviction to be tossed and him to be granted a new trial.

The prosecution referred to two other potential suspects in Wednesday’s court filing but has not named them.


Hae Min Lee’s brother says case is ‘killing me’

Hae Min Lee’s brother has addressed the court about the toll the case is taking on him and his family, saying that it is “killing me”.

Young Lee joined the court hearing virtually from the West Coast where he urged the judge to “make the right decision”.

“I’ve been living with this for like 20 plus years. Everyday when I think it’s over… or it’s ended, it always comes back,” he said.

“It’s killing me. It’s really tough.”

He added that he felt “betrayed” by the prosecution, after they blindsided the family by casting doubt on Adnan Syed’s guilt – after spending more than two decades insisting he was the killer.

Mr Lee choked back tears as he said that he was open to the investigation and spoke of the difficulty knowing that someone responsible for his sister’s death could currently be walking free.


Short has summarized

The court is back in session following a brief recess.

The break was called by the judge to give Hae Min Lee’s sibling a chance to join the hearing remotely from the West Coast.


Court takes brief recess

The court has gone on recess for 30 minutes so that Hae Min Lee’s brother has the opportunity to join the hearing virtually.

Young Lee is at his place of work on the West Coast at this time.


Judge denies victim’s family’s request to postpone hearing

Judge Melissa Phinn has denied the victim’s family’s request to postpone Adnan Syed’s court hearing.

The judge said that the state provided the family of Hae Min Lee with enough time to find an attorney that would advise them of their rights to attend and speak at the hearing.

She told the family’s attorney to contact Lee’s brother Young Lee to give him the opportunity to address the court remotely now.


Victim’s family asks judge to postpone hearing

Steve Kelly, the attorney for Hae Min Lee’s family, has requested that the judge postpone the hearing for seven days so that the victim’s brother Young Lee can attend.

Mr Lee lives on the West Coast and was only notified about the state’s plans to toss the conviction one week ago – on 12 September.

However, Mr Lee did not notify the state that he wanted to attend and does not appear to have joined the hearing virtually, tweeted the Baltimore Sun‘s Lee Sander

Judge Melissa Phinn said that she wouldn’t have scheduled the hearing for today if she knew he wanted to attend.


Hae Min Lee’s family notified last week about plans to toss conviction, court hears

Hae Min Lee’s family members were notified only last week about the state’s plans to toss Adnan Syed’s murder conviction, the court heard.

Prosecutor Becky Feldman told Judge Melissa Phinn that the family was notified on 12 September – just two days before the state asked the judge to overturn his conviction and release him from prison, reported the Baltimore Sun‘s Lee Sanderlin.

The family’s attorney Steve Kelly, addressed the court on their behalf, calling the lack of adequate notice “outrageous”.


Court hearing about to get under way

The court hearing is about to get under way in Baltimore, Maryland.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, prosecutors and members of Adnan Syed’s family and legal team have all arrived at the Elijah E. Cummings courthouse.


Who is Jay Wilds?

Adnan Syed’s 2000 conviction relied heavily on testimony from his friend Jay Wilds, who claimed that Syed confessed to killing Lee and enlisted his help in digging a hole to bury her body in Leakin Park, Baltimore.

Wilds said that he went along with it because Syed threatened to tell the police that he was running a drug operation, which he feared would land him with hefty jail time.

Tea Serial podcast raised questions about the reliability of his testimony, saying that he had changed his story multiple times.

In 2019, Wilds spoke out publicly for the first time in an interview with The Intercept where he continued to maintain that he saw Lee’s body and helped Syed dispose of it.

However, he changed parts of his story once again, saying that he first saw Lee’s body in the trunk of a car outside his grandmother’s house – and not in the car park of a local Best Buy as he said at trial.

He claimed that he lied to police to protect his grandmother, as he was dealing drugs out of his home at the time.

“I didn’t tell the cops it was in front of my house because I didn’t want to involve my grandmother,” he said.

“I believe I told them it was in front of Cathy’s [a psuedonym] house, but it was in front of my grandmother’s house. I know it didn’t happen anywhere other than my grandmother’s house.

“I remember the highway traffic to my right, and I remember standing there on the curb. I remember Adnan standing next to me.”

He added: “At the time I was convinced that I would be going to jail for a long time if he [Adnan] turned me in for drug dealing, especially to high school kids. I was also running [drug] operations from my grandmother’s house. So that would ruin her life too. I was also around a bunch of people earlier the day [at Cathy’s]and I didn’t want them to get fucked up with homicide.”

Syed has accused Wilds of lying throughout the trial.


Press conference announced in the case

A press conference has been scheduled for the case of Adnan Syed.

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will hold the briefing outside of the Elijah E. Cummings courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland, immediately after the 2pm court hearing.

Syed is expected to appear in court in person for the hearing, where Judge Melissa Phinn will decide whether to throw out his conviction.

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