(BALTIMORE) – The lawyer for “Serial” podcast star Adnan Syed who was granted a new trial on Thursday for his role in allegedly murdering his high school ex-girlfriend says his client is not a flight risk nor is he a danger to the community, saying he should be granted bail.
In an interview with ABC News, Justin Brown said “We are just starting to look into that and I think we have a very compelling case.” He’s not a flight risk and he is not a danger to the community and therefore he should be allowed out on bail.”
But Brown said whether or not they will try to proceed with a bail hearing is yet to be determined.
Syed, now 36, has been incarcerated for more than half his life, sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. She was found buried in a shallow grave in Baltimore’s Leakin Park.
On Thursday, a retired Baltimore judge issued a ruling granting Syed a new trial on the grounds that he received ineffective counsel from a defense attorney in 2000, who failed to cross examine an expert witness on key evidence.
This was a ruling issued after new evidence was presented during a second post-conviction relief hearing in February this year, including testimony from alibi witness Asia McClain Chapman who says she spoke with Syed at the exact time the state claims he killed Lee.
When asked whether his client is innocent, “I am. I have full confidence in his innocence,” Brown said Friday.
Brown gave credit to the 2014 hit podcast “Serial” that launched Syed’s case to international stardom.
“But for the podcast Serial, we would not be sitting here today,” Brown said.
Brown also acknowledge the state might try to appeal the judge’s ruling, and that the state has 30 days to decide its next steps. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General said in a written statement that they will continue to be in the pursuit of justice for Lee and her family, saying they will seek for a win in an appellate court.
Lee’s family has not issued a statement of its own since the ruling was announced Thursday.
“We might have to go up through the Maryland Appellate courts and defend the opinion that was issued yesterday but we are pretty confident that the opinion is very solid and it’s based on the facts,” Brown said.
McClain Chapman’s witness testimony was determined to not have compelled the judge in issuing his ruling.
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