Jay Wilds, a key player in the 1999 murder case of Hae Min Lee recently documented by NPR’s extremely popular “Serial” podcast, gives first interview about Adnan Syed, currently in prison for Lee’s murder.

Jay Wilds: Adnan Syed Killed Hae Min Lee

Wilds is heavily featured in “Serial” and host Sarah Koenig questioned the validity of his testimony – in which he swore Syed murdered Lee, his ex girlfriend, and that he helped Syed bury the body. Wilds was the only witness to the crime, and his testimony was key in Syed’s conviction. However, Wilds refused to participate in Koenig’s podcast investigation, though recordings of police interviews are used in the series. Now that “Serial” has come to an end, Wilds is speaking out about his story in his first public interview.

In the interview, Wilds says he and Syed were never really friends, but had a repore after smoking weed together – Wilds was a pot dealer. At the time of Syed’s 2000 trial, Wilds claimed that Syed had told him he was going to kill Lee after their messy breakup, but said that he thought Syed was just blowing off steam, something he repeats in the interview.

“Just normal conversation like, ‘I think she’s f—king around. I’m gonna kill that b—h, man.’ Nothing real pointed or anything…But I just thought he was just shooting off like everyone else shoots off when they’re mad at their girlfriend. He never said anything like, ‘Hey, what gauge gun should I use?’… I thought he was just blowing off steam and bulls—tting. I thought at worst he’d throw a rock through her window. Normal high school ‘I’m mad at her and I’ll scratch her car’ sort of stuff,” Wilds told The Intercept.

Wilds elaborated on why he believes Syed killed Lee, though he was hesitant to say for sure. “However he ended up doing it – whether it was premeditated, an involuntary reaction at that point in time – he just couldn’t come to grips with being a loser and failing. He failed; he lost the girl,” Wilds said.

Jay Wilds Claims Syed Blackmailed Him

Wilds also claimed that he only helped Syed bury Lee’s body because Syed threatened to turn him into the police for dealing drugs, saying, “At the time I was convinced that I would be going to jail for a long time if he turned me in for drug dealing, especially to high school kids.”

Furthermore, Wilds insisted that he wasn’t as cooperative with the police as was described in “Serial.” The rest of Wilds’ interview will be published soon, and “Serial” is available for free download and streaming.

Meanwhile, Rabia Chaudry, a family friend of Syed’s who worked closely with Koenig in the development of “Serial” and is featured on the podcast, pointed at apparent inconsistencies in the interview as proof that Wilds lied in his initial police statement and again at Syed’s trial.

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