'Serial' subject Adnan Syed a step closer to a new trial

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On Thursday, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals determined he had received ineffective assistance by his counsel during the trial and upheld his request for a new trial.

In 2000, Syed was convicted for the first-degree murder of Lee, his ex-girlfriend.

"Trial counsel's deficient performance prejudiced Syed's defense", the two Special Appeals judges wrote, "because, but for trial counsel's failure to investigate [McClain], there is a reasonably probability that McClain's alibi testimony would have raised a reasonable doubt in the mind of at least one juror about Syed's involvement [in] Hae's murder, and thus 'the result of the proceedings would have been different'".

Hey guys, remember a little podcast called Serial?

Syed has unsuccessfully appealed his conviction before, but Serial's breakout success helped refuel public interest in his case. He filed an appeal in 2012 but was denied.

The attorney general's office could appeal Thursday's decision to the state's highest tribunal, the Court of Appeals.

The state appealed a lower court judge's ruling past year that vacated Syed's conviction and ordered a new trial.

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Chapman said she was in the library next to their high school when she saw Syed at the time Lee was said to have been murdered.

Justin Brown, Syed's attorney, said he would be having a news conference Thursday afternoon.

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

"We are now reviewing today's decision to determine next steps", Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Frosh, said in an email.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch had ruled that Syed's original lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, should have cross-examined a witness about the reliability of cellphone tower evidence. "We're ready to try the case", Brown said.

"And "Serial" has also helped to build this groundswell of support for us and for Adnan and for the case, and that has really fueled these efforts and allowed us to keep fighting on the way that we have", Brown said.

This is a developing story.

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