US News Maryland court to hear bid for new trial in 'Serial' murder case

14:15  08 june  2017
14:15  08 june  2017 Source:   reuters.com

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Defense lawyers for Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was called into question by the 2014 podcast " Serial ," will face off with Maryland prosecutors on Thursday to argue over A Baltimore judge ordered a new trial in June 2016 after the popular podcast cast doubt on evidence in the case .

Baltimore: Adnan Syed's bid for a new trial gained more momentum on Monday The Maryland Court of Special Appeals told a lower court to consider hearing sworn testimony from Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder in 2000. The case is now the subject of a popular podcast called ' Serial '.

Adnan Syed © Reuters/Carlos Barria/File photo Adnan Syed Defense lawyers for Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was called into question by the 2014 podcast "Serial," will face off with Maryland prosecutors on Thursday to argue over whether he should get a new trial.

Syed, 37, is serving a life sentence for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate, Hae Min Lee. A Baltimore judge ordered a new trial in June 2016 after the popular podcast cast doubt on evidence in the case.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh appealed the ruling. Oral arguments will be heard in Annapolis at the Court of Special Appeals, the state's second-highest tribunal.

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Judge reopens ' Serial ' murder trial with new evidence. Serial : Convicted murderer Adnan Syed gets hope from mobile phone data. The Maryland attorney general's office, which is handling the case for the state, opposed Syed's request for a new trial .

BALTIMORE -- A defense lawyer's failure to call an alibi witness was a key point of contention as a convicted murderer returned to court Wednesday to argue he deserves a new trial in a case that gained fresh notoriety through the podcast " Serial ." A three-day hearing began in Baltimore for

No decision will be issued on Thursday. Syed, who remains in prison, will not attend.

The prosecutors' appeal argues that the Baltimore judge, Martin Welch, wrongly allowed new arguments over the reliability of cellphone location evidence that linked Syed to Lee's death.

Prosecutors also contest Welch's decision to vacate Syed's conviction because of poor legal representation. Prosecutors say Syed's lawyer, the late Cristina Gutierrez, had thoroughly challenged the cellphone evidence and that Syed had already waived his claim that she was ineffective.

"With or without corroborative cellphone data, the overwhelming evidence shows the jury's verdict was fair, reliable and correct," prosecutors said in their appeal.

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WATCH Maryland Judge Reopens ' Serial ' Murder Case . Lawyers for Adnan Syed argued at a court hearing for a new trial , and called a key witness who was featured in the podcast but was never called to testify during Syed's original trial .

Error 404: Page Not Found. "Damien Echols asks for new trial in West Memphis 3 murder case ".

Syed's lawyers say Gutierrez had declining skills when she defended him, in what was her last trial, and did not investigate a potential alibi witness. She agreed to be disbarred by the Court of Appeals in 2001 because of failing health, and died in 2004.

"The proper remedy is a new trial," the inmate's legal team said in a court filing.

The "Serial" podcast on Syed's case was released by public radio station WBEZ in Chicago and has been downloaded millions of times. The podcast raised questions about testimony from an acquaintance of Syed, who claimed Syed told him he planned to kill Lee and needed his help after the murder, and about phone calls that linked Syed to the crime.

The appeals court will issue a written opinion at a later date, the court said in a statement. The ruling could then be appealed to the Court of Appeals, Maryland's highest court.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jonathan Oatis)

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