The tide may be turning for Adnan Syed of Serial fame. His current lawyer filed a motion saying that cell phone data that the prosecution used to secure his murder conviction may actually have been inadmissible.
According to The Baltimore Sun, attorney C. Justin Brown filed this motion on Monday, claiming that Syed’s lawyer at the time, M. Cristina Gutierrez, failed to raise questions about a fax cover sheet that AT&T included with incoming call data that the carrier turned over as evidence. The cover sheet, which was included in Gutierrez’s file, said, “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location.”
This warning is relevant because prosecutors used incoming calls made to Syed’s cell phone to place him at Leakin Park, where his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee’s body was found. AT&T’s warning calls that conclusion into serious question, Brown said. He argued that this was yet another reason that the Court of Special Appeals should consider granting Syed a new trial. The court agreed to make this consideration back in February.
During Syed’s trial, the prosecution relied on witness testimony from Jay Wilds to place Syed at Leakin Park, where Wilds said that he helped his former friend bury Lee’s body. The incoming call locations were supposed to corroborate Wilds’ testimony. However, Brown argues, they now call Wilds’ statements into question, pitting his credibility against that of Asia McClain, who said that she saw Syed at a public library near the school they both attended during the time of Lee’s murder.
Serial fans will know that McClain had come forward with this alibi after Syed was arrested, yet Gutierrez also failed to interview her. In May, the Court of Special Appeals ruled that they would allow McClain to testify in their deliberations over whether Syed should get a new trial.
(via Baltimore Sun)