Serial Recap: All the Crazy Developments Since the Final Episode

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Serial Witness Reverses Her Story in the Latest Bizarre Twist.

Listening to the Serial podcast has been known to cause a whirlwind of emotions. Though the first season of popular podcast Serial has long been over, the story of Adnan Syed and his conviction of murdering ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999 has another new development.A key figure in the popular podcast has written an affidavit doubling down on her claim that she was with convicted killer Adnan Syed at the time his ex-girlfriend was murdered.LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — It’s been a few weeks since the wildly popular “Serial” podcast wrapped up its first season, leaving lots of loose ends behind.The smash hit podcast “Serial” has kicked up a storm since it dissected a 1999 murder case in which a 17-year-old was convicted for strangling his high school ex-girlfriend to death.

A potential witness in the ongoing Serial legal case says the original prosecutor in the case pressured her not to give evidence in the appeal of the convicted murderer Adnan Syed. For many, feelings swung from sympathy for Adnan Syed to frustration with his lawyer, the late Cristina Gutierrez, to complete dismay at the fact that Syed can’t seem to remember one freaking thing.

It’s significant, because McClain says she saw Syed (the ex convicted of murder) at the library the day Lee (the woman who was murdered) disappeared. 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. Sarah Koenig, host and executive producer of the show, often makes mention of a woman named Asia McClain, who wrote letters to Syed after he was arrested saying she saw him at the public library at the exact same time that prosecutors asserted he was strangling Lee. However, she was never called to testify, and, as “Serial” reported, prosecutor Kevin Urick claimed in 2010 that McClain wrote the letters under pressure from Syed’s family. McClain, now 33, told Serial host Sarah Koenig she never questioned why no one contacted her because she assumed the state had enough evidence against Syed that her testimony was irrelevant.

Syed had been serving out a life sentence in prison quietly until last year when reporter Sarah Koenig with “This American Life” reexamined the case for millions of listeners. But at the urging of Syed’s family, following his conviction, she later wrote an affidavit that stated she spoke to Syed from 2:20 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. the day of Lee’s murder, effectively throwing a wrench in the state’s timeline for the murder, which states Lee was dead by 2:36 p.m. In “Serial,” Koenig raised what she deemed reasonable doubts about Syed’s guilt, pointing out several inconsistencies in the testimony from Syed’s acquaintance, who was the state’s key witness, questioning the defense attorney’s strategy and arguing that an untapped alibi provided by a classmate could have taken his case in a completely different direction.

It goes without saying that it’s up to the court—and not the listeners—to decide what all the developments mean, but it’s only natural to want to speculate. As a result my interview with Sarah Koenig was incomplete in the Serial Podcast.” It was only after listening to Serial that McClain realized her story was so important to Syed’s defense. McClain, who now lives in Washington state, told The Blaze she did seek Urick’s advice in 2010, after Syed’s new defense team reached out to her during the appeals process. 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.”

At the request of a Syed family friend gathering evidence for an appeal, McClain gave an affidavit in March 2000, saying she had seen Syed on the believed day of the murder. He “seemed extremely calm and caring,” writes McClain. “He explained that he wanted her to be happy and that he had no ill will towards her.” So why is she speaking out now? “After I learned about the podcast,” McClain writes, “I learned more about Koenig’s reporting, and more about the Syed case. While still maintaining that he did in fact pick up Adnan at the now-infamous Best Buy, he told The Intercept that he actually didn’t see Min Lee’s body until later in the day, in front of his grandmother’s house.

But four years later, she became determined to speak out after learning, through “Serial,” that her alibi for Syed coincided with the time the state claims he was killing Lee. In the new affidavit, which was provided to TIME by McClain’s lawyer Gary Proctor, McClain says that she contacted Urick in 2005 because she had questions about the case she did not feel comfortable asking Syed’s lawyers. Syed has appealed the circuit court’s decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, and his defense team will likely submit McClain’s new affidavit in a new filing. Key prosecutorial players—Urick, star witness Jay Wilds—never spoke directly to producer Sarah Koenig, in whose telling the first comes off as overzealous, and the second as a liar. Justin Brown, told TIME the supplemental affidavit was submitted to the court around 10:30am on Tuesday and said he could not otherwise comment on the ongoing case.

While McClain’s revelation buttresses the Koenig Doctrine that Syed was wrongfully convicted, Urick’s rebuttal supports a competing doctrine: that we’re all a bunch of dupes with bleeding hearts. Koenig mentioned the show’s attempts to contact Urick, and in response to The Intercept, reps for Serial reiterated that they began reaching out to Urick nine months before the podcast first aired. That was about the extent of my response.” “Serial” bounced listeners back and forth late last year as Koenig took different stances on the case.

She questioned whether McClain’s unheard testimony would have affected the jury’s decision and why Syed’s attorney never requested a plea deal – even though he asked her twice to do so. (Gutierrez, his attorney during trial, was disbarred for mishandling clients’ money in 2001 and died three years later.) A Baltimore judge denied Syed’s 2010 appeal earlier last year and, earlier this month, the state of Maryland said it concurs with that decision. Yesterday morning McClain filed a new affidavit that says Urick’s testimony at the appeal was false, and that she did see Adnan in the school library that day. It’s “one of those things that keeps playing back in your head over and over and over again,” she said. “First of all, telling Adnan’s family, writing it down in a letter, telling people throughout my life about that experience. But yesterday Syed’s lawyer submitted a petition along with Asia McClain’s newest affidavit asking for the case to be sent back the circuit court to investigate whether the Asia Letters really did belong in the original trial. Even my husband — it’s something that [I’ve] spoken about many times over the 16 years. “I want people to understand as it pertains to my involvement in this case, that it is as simple as it can be.

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