Another "Serial" bombshell: Cellphone evidence used against Adnan Syed may be faulty

Syed's lawyer filed a motion in court on Monday arguing that incoming cell records should be rendered inadmissible

By Anna Silman

Published August 25, 2015 3:37PM (EDT)

Big news, “Serial” junkies: The lawyer for Adnan Syed, whose 2000 murder was the focus of Sarah Koenig's seminal true crime podcast last year, filed a motion in court on Monday claiming that cellphone evidence used in the prosecution’s original case against Syed ought to have been inadmissible.

According to the motion filed by lawyer C. Justin Brown, the cellphone evidence used to establish Syed’s location on the day of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee’s murder came with an AT&T cover sheet declaring “outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location.”

"If AT&T, the architect and operator of the cell tower network, did not think incoming calls were 'reliable information for location,' it is unfathomable that a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge would have allowed an expert opinion ... under this method," Brown wrote in the motion.

As “Serial” listeners know, incoming calls were a key element of the prosecution’s case against Syed, which, when linked with the testimony of Syed’s acquaintance Jay Wilds, helped to establish that Syed’s was in Baltimore's Leakin Park at the same time Hae Min Lee’s body was buried there.

"We feel that the fax cover sheet from AT&T is an extremely important piece of evidence, and we are bringing it to the court's attention as quickly as possible," Brown told The Baltimore Sun. "We hope the court considers it.”

For supporters who feel that Syed was wrongfully convicted, this represents yet another kernel of hope: In February, Syed won leave to appeal based on the fact that his then-lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, neglected to pursue the eyewitness testimony of Asia McClain, a schoolmate of Syed’s who says she saw him during the time the murder allegedly took place.

Anna Silman

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