Maryland AG joins family’s appeal in ‘Serial’ murder case

BALTIMORE (AP) — The office of Maryland’s attorney general is supporting an appeal by a slain woman’s family after a Baltimore judge overturned a man’s murder conviction in a case chronicled by a groundbreaking podcast.

Hae Min Lee’s brother, Young Lee, has asked the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to halt court proceedings for Adnan Syed, whose conviction in Lee’s 1999 killing was reversed by Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn in September.

Young Lee is asking the appellate court to suspend an Oct. 18 deadline for prosecutors to decide whether to drop the charges against Syed or retry him. Lee argues that his family didn’t get adequate notice of the Sept. 19 hearing where Phinn overturned Syed’s conviction.

Attorney General Brian Frosch’s office, which represented the state in opposing Syed’s appeals, said in a court filing Friday that Young Lee has a right to appeal given his status as the victim’s representative, the Baltimore Sun reported. The filing argues that Lee’s appeal should be addressed before any circuit court rulings render it moot.

Syed, who has always maintained his innocence, has served more than 20 years of a life sentence. He was convicted of strangling Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park. Syed and Lee were students at a Baltimore County high school.

The first season of the popular “Serial” podcast focused on the 18-year-old woman’s killing and raised doubts about some of the evidence prosecutors had used to secure Syed’s conviction.

Phinn ordered Syed’s release from prison after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office said it found evidence that should have been disclosed to Syed’s attorneys. Prosecutors said a reinvestigation of the case revealed evidence regarding the possible involvement of two other potential suspects.

Phinn ruled that the state violated its legal obligation to share evidence that could have bolstered Syed’s defense. She ordered Syed to be placed on home detention with GPS location monitoring.

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