'Serial' Case: Judge Vacates Conviction, Orders New Trial For Adnan Syed
June 30, 2016 at 4:10 PM (PT)
The murder conviction of ADNAN SYED, whose case was the subject of the first season of the podcast "SERIAL," has been vacated and a new trial granted on THURSDAY (6/30).
SYED was sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend HAE MIN LEE, and the podcast examined questions about the evidence relied upon to obtain the conviction. Retired Judge MARTIN WELCH ordered a new trial in a decision TODAY, saying that SYED's attorney in the initial trial, the late MARIA CRISTINA GUTIERREZ, made a fatal error in not cross-examining an expert on cell phone towers, ABRAHAM WARANOWITZ, whose testimony placed SYED in a park where LEE's body was found.
WARANOWITZ, in testimony in the present appeal for a new trial in FEBRUARY, said that a disclaimer that accompanied the cell tower data was not shown to him and would have changed his testimony. The issue of the cell tower testimony was raised on "SERIAL" but examined in depth on the "UNDISCLOSED" podcast, an independent show co-hosted by SYED's family friend RABIA CHAUDRY, that continued to investigate the case once "SERIAL" moved on.
SYED's current attorney C. JUSTIN BROWN is expected to move to have SYED freed on bail pending a new trial.