Prosecutors request new trial for ‘Serial’ subject Adnan Syed

A statement from the state attorney’s office cited newly discovered evidence.

Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in the statement, “After a nearly year-long investigation that reviewed the facts of this case, Syed is entitled to a new trial, where he is adequately represented and presented the latest evidence.” can go.”

Syed is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment in February 2000 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hee Min Lee. He has maintained his innocence and has been appealing his conviction for years.

“As the manager of the court, we are obliged to maintain faith in the integrity of the conviction and do our part to correct it when this standard is incorporated,” Mosby said. “We have spoken to Ms Hee Min Lee’s family and (they) fully understand that the person responsible for this heinous crime must be held accountable.”

The state will request that Syed be released on his own identity, pending investigation if his conviction is proposed to be vacated.

“We believe that keeping Mr. Syed in custody, as we continue to investigate the case with what we know now, when we do not have confidence in the results of the first trial, would be an injustice,” Mosby said. “

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The re-investigation revealed evidence “with respect to the possible involvement of two alternate suspects other than Syed”, the statement said.

“Both suspects may be involved individually or may be involved together,” the statement said.

Adnan and Lee were seniors at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County in January 1999 when she went missing. Three weeks later his strangled body was found in the forest of the city.

Mosby said prosecutors “at this time, are not claiming that Mr. Syed is innocent” but that the state “lacks confidence in the integrity of the convict” and that Syed should get a new trial.

In March, Syed and prosecutors filed a joint motion for DNA testing after the conviction, saying that since the crime occurred more than two decades ago, “DNA testing has changed and improved significantly.”

The March resolution called for the victim’s clothing to be tested for touch DNA, which was not available at the time of testing. Mosby’s statement said the items being tested now were not tested in 2018 — when the Baltimore City Police Lab tested various items for DNA.

Mosby said the motion to vacate was filed with Becky Feldman, the head of the Sentence Review Unit (SRU). Syed was a juvenile when convicted.

According to Mosby’s statement, the suspects were known persons at the time of the original investigation “and were not properly dismissed nor disclosed to the defense.”

The state is not disclosing the names of the suspects, but said that, according to the trial file, one of them said, “He will make it up. [Ms. Lee] disappear. He’ll kill her.”

According to the statement, the investigation also revealed that a suspect was convicted of assaulting a woman in his vehicle. The second suspect was convicted of involvement in a series of rapes and sexual assault, the statement said.

Some of the information was available at the time of trial and some came to light later, the statement said. It is not clear when the attack happened.

The statement said Lee’s car was located “right behind the home of one of the suspect’s family members”.

Syed’s lawyers brought the matter to the notice of the SRU in April 2021.

Mosby’s statement said Syed’s lawyers “identified significant credibility issues with regard to the most important pieces of evidence at trial.”

Syed’s lawyer said in the 2019 HBO documentary “The Case Against Adnan Syed” that his client’s DNA was not found in any of the 12 samples retrieved from the victim’s body and car. He was not part of the official investigation by the testing authorities. HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros.

During the trial, prosecutors relied on the testimony of a friend, Jay Wilds, who said he helped Syed dig a hole for Lee’s body. To corroborate their account, prosecutors presented cell phone records and expert witness testimony to place Syed at the location where Lee was buried.

CNN’s Jen Selva and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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