Asia McClain, a key witness in the Hae Min Lee murder trial, is writing a new affidavit that provides an alibi for Adnan Syed.
Syed has served 15 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, but Serial, a podcast produced by This American Life and WBEZ Chicago, revealed problems and inconsistencies in the case. From the first episode, McClain’s letters and her claims that she saw Syed in the public library on the day of the murder were a red flag to host Sarah Koenig.
Prosecutors said Lee was dead by 2:36 p.m., but in an affidavit written after Syed was convicted of first-degree murder, McClain stated that she had been talking with him from about 2:20 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. (school let out at 2:15). McClain said no attorney ever reached out to her about her contact with Syed that day. It was only when a Syed family friend approached her after the trial that she wrote out her first affidavit.
McClain says she didn’t question the lack of attention paid to her during the trial because she assumed the evidence against Syed must have been much stronger than anything her after-school chat could have toppled. Syed was convicted based on cellphone records showing his location and the testimony of a witness, Jay Wilds, who said Syed told him he killed Lee and that he helped Syed bury her body. But as “Serial” laid out, Wilds’ story shifted over the course of multiple interviews with investigators, and host Sarah Koenig called into question the accuracy of the cell tower records.
In an appeal proceeding, prosecutor Kevin Urick claimed that McClain was “getting pressure” from Syed’s family to write the affidavit, something which she now denies. She addresses this claim in her new affidavit and explains why she did not lend her testimony before now.
25. In the late spring of 2010, I learned that members of the Syed defense team were attempting to contact me. I was initially caught off guard by this and I did not talk to them.
26. After encountering the Syed defense team, I began to have many case questions that I did not want to ask the Syed defense team. After not knowing who else to contact, I made telephone contact with one of the State prosecutors from the case, Kevin Urick.
27. I had a telephone conversation with Urick in which I asked him why I was being contacted and what was going on in the case.
28. He told me there was no merit to any claims that Syed did not get a fair trial. Urick discussed the evidence of the case in a manner that seemed designed to get me to think Syed was guilty and that I should not bother participating in the case, by telling what I knew about January 13, 1999. Urick convinced me into believing that I should not participate in any ongoing proceedings. Based on my conversation with Kevin Urick, the comments made by him and what he conveyed to me during that conversation, I determined that I wished to have no further involvement with the Syed defense team, at that time.
29. Urick and I discussed the affidavit that I had previously provided to Chaudry. I wanted to know why I was being contacted if they already had the affidavit on file and what the ramifications of that document were. I never told Urick that I recanted my story or affidavit about January 13, 1999. In, addition I did not write the March 1999 letters or the affidavit because of pressure from Syed’s family. I did not write them to please Syed’s family or to get them off my back. What actually happened is that I wrote the affidavit because I wanted to provide the truth about what I remembered. My only goal has always been, to provide the truth about what I remembered.
30. I took, and retained, contemporaneous notations of the telephone conversation with Urick.
For Serial listeners, McClain’s new affidavit is yet another twist in the case of Adnan Syed, a case that included an arguably ineffective defense attorney, a mysterious Best Buy pay phone, and a key witness who changed his story on numerous occasions. Whether Syed did it or not, this case is messy and complicated, and it gets more messy and complicated as more facts come to light.
Source: The Blaze