Adnan Syed was convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000 on evidence that included phone records that his current lawyer claims should never have been used.

Adnan Syed Appeal

Syed, whose trial became of national interest through the Serial podcast, continues to pursue an overturn of his conviction. His new defense attorney C. Justin Brown recently filed a court motion arguing that the cell evidence police presented in court was inadmissible. In his argument, Brown refers to a cover sheet that came with a fax of the phone records, which read, “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location.”

“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 told The Baltimore Sun. “We hope the court considers it.”

According to Brown, much of the cellular evidence presented during Syed’s trial used incoming calls, rendering it inadmissible.


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“If AT&T, the architect and operator of the cell tower network, did not think incoming calls were ‘reliable information for location,’ it is unfathomable that a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge would have allowed an expert opinion … under this method,” Brown wrote in his motion.

If Syed’s appeal is granted and his case officially reopened, Brown also hopes to use testimony from Asia McClain to cast doubt on his client’s guilt. McClain, who was heard talking to Serial host Sarah Koenig during the podcast’s run, claims that she saw Syed in the library at the time authorities say Lee was murdered.

Syed won the right to appeal in February in part on the argument that his initial lawyer Cristina Gutierrez’s failure to submit a letter written by McClain as evidence hurt his case. Gutierrez, who passed away in 2004, also failed to act on the AT&T coversheet information.

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