On Thursday a Baltimore judge granted Serial subject Adnan Syed a new trial in the case for which he was convicted of first degree murder. Syed was sentenced to life in prison for the 1999 murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The murder case was the subject of the first season of the Serial podcast.
In November, Syed was a granted a post-conviction hearing where Syed's attorneys were able to present new evidence. The two main pieces of evidence included an alibi witness for Syed; Asia McClain, a classmate who said she saw Syed at the library at the time of Lee's murder. Other evidence called into question the cell phone tower data that was used against Syed placing him near the area where Lee's body was buried.
Syed's attorney Justin Brown announced the news on Twitter:
WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!! #FreeAdnan— Justin Brown (@CJBrownLaw) June 30, 2016
According to the Maryland court order, Baltimore Judge Martin Welch granted Syed the new trial writing that Syed's trial attorney "rendered ineffective assistance when she failed to cross-examine the state's expert regarding the reliability of cell tower location evidence." The Office of the Attourney General released this statement regarding the news.
The Baltimore Sun reported Syed's brother Yusuf told them over the phone: "I had a feeling in my heart it was going to happen. We are just very happy. It's not only a win for us but a win for a lot of people who are stuck in the system because it opened a lot of people's eyes about the justice system."
Syed's lawyers Brown and Christopher Nieto held a press conference Thursday afternoon promising to put out a formal statement later.
"The conviction is vacated, so the conviction is erased, it's gone," Brown said during the press conference. "I'm feeling pretty confident right now. This was the biggest hurdle. It's really hard to get a new trial."