Adnan Syed may get a second chance. The 34-year-old convict, whose life and legal troubles have been detailed in the wildly popular podcast Serial, is reportedly getting his day in court, according to the Associated Press, 14 years after he was found guilty of murder.
Syed has spent the last decade and a half in Maryland's North Branch Correctional Institution, serving a life sentence that was handed to him in June 2000. The then-high school student, who had honors credits and a good reputation to his name, was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping after the death of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
His case returned to the public eye this past October, when the details surrounding Lee's death were featured in WBEZ's Serial. The spinoff of This American Life gained traction and quickly became a must-listen program with its weekly installments. With more than 5 million downloads and streams, Serial has become the most popular podcast in history.
Led by creator and co-producer Sarah Koenig, the podcast has former Baltimore Sun journalist Koenig looking into Syed's story, case, and alibi, after his friends and family members raised questions about his culpability. Between a questionable handling of the case by Syed's now-deceased defense lawyer, conflicting stories from witnesses, and informants and arguably shoddy detective work, the case has been brought back up by the Maryland appeals court, according to the AP.
The AP reports that the jailed man, who has spent almost half of his life behind bars, now has a hearing scheduled for January 2015 with his lawyer C. Justin Brown, who has been representing Syed for the past five years.
Syed's appeal hearing is expected to include both the seeming mishandling of the trial by his lawyer, as well as additional information that has come forward about a possible alibi for the then-teen when the late Lee was killed.
Lee, who was 18 at the time of her death, was a student at Baltimore's Woodlawn High School with Syed. Her body was found in a nearby park nearly a month after she went missing, and her death was later ruled as a homicide by strangulation.
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