Attorney: New evidence calls into question Serial's Adnan Syed conviction

By Amy R. Connolly

BALTIMORE, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The attorney for Adnan Syed, subject of the widely popular Serial podcast last year, said he has new evidence that will call into question key cellphone records used to convict his client 15 years ago.

C. Justin Brown said incoming calls to Syed's cellphone used by prosecutors for the conviction in 2000 are unreliable. Brown said AT&T included a warning about the accuracy of cell tower data on a fax cover sheet to Baltimore police during the January 1999 investigation into the murder of Syed's ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.


If the warning had been properly raised by Syed's previous attorney at trial, "much of, if not all of, the cellular evidence would have been rendered inadmissible," Brown wrote in a court motion Monday.

"We feel that the fax cover sheet from AT&T is an extremely important piece of evidence, and we are bringing it to the court's attention as quickly as possible," Brown said. "We hope the court considers it."

Syed, now 35, was convicted of killing Lee, a Woodlawn High School classmate, on Jan. 13, 1999. He has long maintained his innocence. Syed's attorneys have argued his original attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, botched the case. She died in 2004.


Syed's case gained international attention while featured on the podcast Serial. The podcast raised numerous questions about Syed's defense, crime scene evidence, the accuracy of cellphone records and alibi witnesses who were never called to the trial.

In February, a Maryland appeals court agreed to hear Syed's appeal of a lower court ruling that denied his request for a new trial. In May, the court said an alibi witness, Asia McClain, should be allowed to testify in the hearing.

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