Breaking: Adnan Syed has been granted a retrial

It’s actually happening

A judge in Baltimore has granted Adnan Syed’s request for a new trial.

Syed has been serving his life sentence after being found guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000.

Syed’s case was highlighted by the real-crime podcast Serial, which became the most downloaded podcast of all time when it began examining whether his conviction was secure.

The judge today cited the ineffectiveness of Syed’s defense attorney in granting the new trial. “She failed to cross-examine the state’s expert regarding the reliability of cell tower location evidence,” retired judge Martin Welch said.

His attorney just tweeted:

The podcast and Syed’s attorneys cast doubt on the strength of the case by pointing to the prosecution’s use of cell tower data, and their apparent decision to ignore a potential alibi.

Welch wrote today: “The court finds that trial counsel’s performance fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment when she failed to cross-examine the state’s cell tower expert regarding a disclaimer obtained as part of pre-trial discovery.”

The case made Syed, and the places featured in the story like Woodlawn High School and Leakin Park, famous around the world. As Serial gained traction, threads on Reddit lit up with theories about the case.