Supreme Court Turns Down ‘Serial’ Star Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore prior to a hearing on Feb. 3, 2016. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a bid for a new trial from Adnan Syed, the man featured on the hit podcast “Serial.”

Syed is serving a life sentence for the murder of 17-year-old Hae Min Lee, his girlfriend at the time who was found buried in a Baltimore park in 1999. 

His trial and Lee’s death were thrust into the national spotlight in 2014 as the inaugural season of “Serial” exposed new evidence and various issues with the criminal investigation. Using evidence from the show to buttress an ineffective-counsel argument, Syed had been set to have his case retried before Maryland’s highest court blocked such relief this past March in a 4-3 opinion.

Though the majority had agreed that Syed’s trial counsel was deficient in failing to investigate an alibi witness, the court found that Syed was not prejudiced by that deficiency. The court also ruled that Syed had waived his ineffective-counsel claim.

Syed petitioned the Supreme Court for relief, but the justices turned him down Monday without comment, as is their custom with such orders. 

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman with the Maryland Attorney General’s office, said the high court’s refusal to rehear the case would finally give justice to Lee and her family. 

“The evidence against Mr. Syed was overwhelming,” Coombs said in a statement. “We remain confident in the verdict that was delivered by the jury.”

Season 1 of “Serial” drew record listeners and helped spawn a national craze of so called “murder podcasts,” which spend extensive time re-examining famous – or not-so-famous – deaths.

Catherine Emily Stetson, an attorney for Syed with the firm Hogan Lovells, did not return a request for comment Monday morning.

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