Convicted killer in 'Serial' case gets new trial

Adnan Syed will get a new trial over the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend

Syed's current attorney, Justin Brown, tweeted out a jubilant, "We won the appeal", on Thursday after the court upheld the decision to grant Syed a new trial.

Adnan Syed, the man at the center of Serial's 2014 investigation into the murder of high schooler Hae Min Lee, will get a new trial, NBC Washingtonreports.

Syed was convicted in 2000 in the murder of Hae Min Lee, his high school sweetheart, whose body was found buried in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park the year before.

In a 105-page ruling, the appeals court agreed with a lower court that Syed's right to effective legal representation "was violated by trial counsel's failure to investigate a potential alibi witness".

Serial became one of the most popular podcasts to have ever been released and the fastest in iTunes history to reach 5 million downloads and streams. Syed has maintained his innocence. He filed an appeal in 2012 but was denied.

It was not immediately clear if prosecutors plan to appeal the latest ruling to the state's highest court. Prosecutors appealed that decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state's intermediate appeals court.

Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed
Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed

The podcast star's lawyer said defense attorney Cristina Gutierrez - who passed away in 2004 - had fallen "below the standard of reasonable judgment" by not investigating McClain in the original trial.

Chapman's claims came to light when Koenig interviewed her for the podcast.

Adnan Syed entered Courthouse East, in February 2016, in Baltimore prior to a hearing.

Next question: Sarah Koenig, are you taking notes? "We're ready to try the case", Brown said. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh's office said it is "currently reviewing today's decision to determine next steps", according to The Baltimore Sun.

"In considering the totality of the evidence at Syed's trial with the potential impact of McClain's alibi testimony, this Court holds that there is a reasonable probability that, but for trial counsel's deficient performance, the result of Syed's trial would have been different", Chief Judge Patrick Woodward wrote for the majority.

Brown said if the case were to go to trial, "we like our chances - we like them a lot".

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