Adnan Syed has a shot at freedom. On Thursday, The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld a decision made by retired Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch who ruled that the 35-year-old man deserves a new trial, according to The Associated Press. Syed, who was the focus of the popular 2014 podcast ‘Serial,' has spent the last 18 years behind bars.
The ruling came after the judge decided that Syed’s lawyer didn’t challenge the very testimony highlighted in ‘Serial.’ Syed’s former lawyer is accused of neglecting to cross-examine a cell tower expert about the accuracy of the location data, which allegedly placed Syed at the scene of the crime, according to Esquire.
Syed’s trial lawyer tweeted the news about the new trial on Thursday afternoon.
In 2000, he was sentenced to life after being convicted of killing Hae Min Lee, his ex-girlfriend and classmate. She was found buried in a shallow grave in Baltimore. Syed has maintained his innocence.
A new trial is not yet written in stone. The ruling can still be appealed to the Court of Appeals, according to ABC News. If the new trial does happen, new evidence will likely be presented including testimony from witness Asia McClain Chapman, who claims she saw Syed in the library at the same time that he supposedly killed Lee.
“Serial” dived into the case and the popular podcast conjured up questions about Syed’s conviction and it led to a new trial. In 2016, Retired Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch also ruled that because Syed's lawyer didn’t challenge the very testimony in the case that became the focal point of “Serial,” he deserved a new shot at freedom, the Associated Press reported. But the state appealed that ruling.
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