'Serial's' Adnan Syed Is Getting a New Trial
Adnan Syed is getting a new trial.
After the Peabody Award-winning first season of the Serial podcast sparked widespread interest in the 1999 murder of 18-year-old high school student Hae Min Lee -- for which Syed, her ex-boyfriend, was convicted in 2000 -- a Baltimore, Maryland judge has now granted Syed a new trial, The Baltimore Sun reports.
In a statement to ET, Serial told ET of the news, "It's an incredible turn of events. We don’t have much more to say than that right now. We spent last night and today reading and talking through Judge Welsh's opinion, to try to understand exactly what it means."
The now 35-year-old man is serving a life sentence after being convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and robbery in the 1999 murder of Lee, whose body was discovered in Baltimore's Leakin Park.
In a memorandum, Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch, who vacated Syed's conviction, said that the legal counsel of his previous attorney was "below the standard of reasonable professional judgment."
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Judge Welch also acknowledged the impact that the popularity of Sarah Koenig's podcast had on the case, writing that Syed's case "represents a unique juncture between the criminal justice system and a phenomenally strong public interest created by modern media."
"We have been fighting for this day for, I think it's been about eight years now," said Syed's attorney C. Justin Brown. "And there were times when it looked like we had lost... But we made it. We got a new trial."
Brown excitedly broke the news of Adnan's retrial Thursday afternoon, tweeting, "WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!! #FreeAdnan."
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In addition to granting Syed a new trial, the judge also denied two requests from his attorneys for post-conviction relief.
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