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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ronen says $100M service expansion is ‘going to fix’ SF’s mental health crisis

Compromise mental health plan has backing of mayor, full Board of Supervisors

Civil liberties lawyer files to take on Pelosi

A San Francisco-based civil liberties lawyer, progressive advocate, DJ and poet is… Continue reading

Supes sound off against bill increasing housing density near transit hubs

Senator Wiener calls resolution opposing SB 50 ‘little more than symbolic political theater’

Eun Sun Kim named San Francisco Opera music director

Korean conductor’s skyrocketing career includes engagements across the world

Most Read