Attorneys for "Serial" podcast subject Adnan Syed (pictured in February in Baltmore) are asking that he be released on bail as he awaits a new trial. (Courtesy Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Scoop: ‘Serial’ subject Adnan Syed seeks release on bail

Adnan Syed, the “Serial” podcast subject whose murder conviction was overturned this summer, is asking for a judge to grant his release on bail as he awaits a new trial.

The petition filed Monday in Maryland by his defense team says Syed would be no danger to the community. It also points to the “crumbling” case against him and raises new accusations about his former co-defendant, Jay Wilds, who was a key witness against him at trial, the Baltimore Sun reports.

“Syed has been waiting 17 years to get back into court to prove his innocence,” his attorneys write. “With that moment within his grasp, there is no reason to think he would now abscond from justice and risk everything he has accomplished to date.”

It is rare for someone facing a violent crime punishable by life in prison to be released pending trial.

But Syed’s attorneys say it is legal, and that Syed — who has been a model inmate while locked up in a maximum security prison — is a good candidate for such an exception.

Syed was convicted by a Baltimore jury in 2000 of killing ex-girlfriend and high school classmate Hae Min Lee, whose body was found buried in Leakin Park.

In June, a judge agreed that Syed’s defense attorney had mishandled his case during his murder trial, and granted a new trial, in part as result of the popularity of “Serial” (NPR called it the most downloaded podcast of all time) in which host Sarah Koenig and her team uncovered inconsistencies in the case.

Justin Brown, who filed Syed’s request to be released from prison, previously told NPR’s David Folkenflik that — given all the sleuthing done by Koenig and the general public — this case might be the first-ever open-sourced appeals case.

ARTS WINNERS

The Creative Work Fund, a Bay Area nonprofit supporting local artists, has announced winners of its 2016 grants, totaling $633,100. San Francisco awardees include Sean Dorsey, Rhodessa Jones, Niloufar Talebi, Don Aguillo, Clement Goldberg, Jerome Reyes and fiscal sponsor, Filipino American Development Foundation.

QUICK TAKES

San Francisco Fairmont’s famed Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar (created in 1945 by MGM set director Mel Melvin and described by Anthony Bourdain as “like the most amazing place in the history of the world”) is debuting a new cocktail menu on Wednesday, divided into “classic” and “modern” tiki drinks.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Ciara is 31. … Singer Katy Perry is 32. … Comedian Samantha Bee is 47. … Voice actress Nancy Cartwright is 59. … Singer Helen Reddy is 75. … Actress Marion Ross is 88. … Singer-actress Barbara Cook is 89.

— Staff, wire reports

Just Posted

SFPD sergeant accused of pulling false fire alarm at Pacifica police station

Sgt. Maria Teresa Donati under investigation after meeting on homelessness disrupted

ACLU warns BART panhandling and busking ban is ‘unconstitutional’ — and could lead to lawsuits

Elected BART leaders are considering banning panhandling and busking — playing music… Continue reading

Jeff Adachi’s family disputes finding that public defender died of toxic drug mix

Independent expert concludes manner of death was natural

S.F. mural debate follows students during first week of school

Classes started Monday at George Washington High School, but the fallout of… Continue reading

New Chinatown station to be named for Rose Pak, but opponents vow to keep fighting

Debate over power broker’s legacy exposes deep rifts in Chinese community

Most Read