State files opposition to Syed’s bail hearing request
Lawyers for the state are arguing that “Serial” podcast subject Adnan Syed shouldn’t be eligible for release on bail, saying he remains a convicted murderer and a ruling granting him a new trial is on hold in the appellate courts. Syed’s attorneys said last month that the appeals process could take years to resolve and that Syed has proved over the past 17 years in prison to be a good candidate for release pending a new trial. But the attorney general’s office filed a motion Monday in opposition, contending that the defense had missed its chance to oppose a judge’s order that stayed the new trial ruling and should have sought bail at that time. Syed “remains a convicted murderer and kidnapper and continues to serve his sentence of life in prison,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Charlton Howard. “Because of the stay, he is not in a pretrial posture awaiting trial nor is he cloaked in the presumption of innocence.” The court has yet to respond to Syed’s request for a bail hearing. Syed’s lead defense attorney, C. Justin Brown, told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday that the defense “look[s] forward to having a bail hearing and having the opportunity to prove that Syed is neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk.” Syed was convicted in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison for the killing of ex-girlfriend and Woodlawn High School classmate Hae Min Lee. Syed’s case became the focus on the “Serial” podcast, helping raise questions that prompted a new hearing in his case.