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Judge denies bail for 'Serial' subject Adnan Syed in retrial

Syed was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999.

By Allen Cone
Judge denies bail for 'Serial' subject Adnan Syed in retrial
This is the 1999 high school photo of Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was the subject of a "Serial" podcast. A Baltimore judge has denied bail as Syed awaits a new trial after his original conviction was thrown out. File photo courtesy The Adnan Syed Trust

BALTIMORE, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A Baltimore judge has denied bail for Adnan Syed, the subject of the "Serial" podcast, as he awaits retrial in the murder case.

In an opinion released Wednesday, Judge Martin P. Welch denied bail and Syed's request for a hearing on the matter.

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"The circuit court finds that the nature and circumstances of the offenses are the most serious in nature and there is still compelling evidence against Petitioner," Welch wrote.

Syed was convicted of murder in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison at 19. But last June, Welch vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial.

Prosecutors are appealing the conviction and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh argued there is no relevant new evidence.

Syed's attorney, C. Justin Brown said an appeals process could take years and Syed already has spent 17 years behind bars based on a conviction that was thrown out.

"Adnan has been locked up for 17 years in some of the most dangerous places in our society yet he has not done anything violent," Brown told The Baltimore Times. "In fact, he has been a model prisoner."

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Syed was convicted in 2000 of the murder of his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate Hae Min Lee.

In 2014, his case was profiled in the "Serial" podcast, which raised questions about the conviction.

Welch found that Syed's trial lawyer might have provided "ineffective assistance" by failing to cross-examine an expert about the reliability of cell tower evidence.

The podcast was heard by millions and won a Peabody Award.

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