The Case Against Adnan Syed (2019) s01e04 Episode Script

Time is the Killer

1 ADNAN SYED: The judge says I manipulated my family and I continue to manipulate people.
It just seemed like the whole world believed it.
JENNIFER PUSATERI: I didn't know that Jay told four and five different stories.
It definitely couldn't have happened on the 13th because I had class.
SUSAN SIMPSON: These cops workshopped that story.
DARRYL MASSEY: That was early stage learning what cell tower investigations were.
This cell phone thing, this was their Bible.
In this case, it took them on the wrong path.
"Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information for location.
" REPORTER: A judge orders a new trial for Adnan Syed.
We won on the cell tower issue.
He's innocent until proven guilty.
ADNAN: There's a huge road ahead.
Anything could still happen.
NEWSMAN: 18-year-old Hae Min Lee disappeared on January 13th after leaving Woodlawn High School.
On February 9th, police found her half-buried body in Baltimore's Leakin Park.
She had been strangled.
Key details they had withheld as they sought out a suspect.
They now have one in custody.
The police suggest the suspect had a motive in the form of a fatal attraction to his victim.
NEWSMAN 2: The subject is identified as Adnan Masud Syed, 17 and a former football player who is described as an A-student, friendly to everyone.
NEWSMAN: News of Syed's arrest is met with disbelief by the community in Woodlawn.
They can't believe the boy who had so much promise now faces a murder rap.
NEWSWOMAN: Tonight, convicted murderer Adan Syed finally knows he is getting another chance to win his freedom.
This week, a Baltimore judge vacating the conviction and granting a new trial to the now 35-year-old man.
But the judge's decision opened old wounds for victim Hae Min Lee's family.
(NEWSWOMAN READING QUOTE) A statement from Maryland's Attorney General, which was against a new trial, said the office will continue to fight for what they believe is a valid conviction.
NEWSMAN: Right now, a historic moment, Donald Trump wins the presidency.
New developments in the case against Adnan Syed.
The man at the center of the first Serial podcast was denied bail while he awaits a new trial.
A strict ban (MISSILE ROARS) It's going to be a while before Adnan Syed gets a new trial, if he ever does.
NEWSWOMAN: Any hope of that actually happening is pinned on Thursday's hearing.
(TV PLAYING INDISTINCTLY) This presidency is sucking the oxygen out of a lot of news stories.
I mean, even my attention's diverted because of what's happening in Washington, D.
C.
Hae Min Lee disappeared in the month of Ramadan in 1999, and it's Ramadan now.
So that means Adnan has spent 17 Ramadans in prison.
My oldest daughter was a child when Adnan was incarcerated, and since I've had two kids, it just makes me feel like, you know, life is passing him by.
(SPEAKING ARABIC) - Congratulations, Rabia! - Oh, thank you.
Oh, you look like Saad.
Does he? No, don't say that! He looks like me! - (LAUGHTER) - Look at.
(RABIA GIGGLES) (SPEAKING ARABIC) Yeah, inshallah.
SHAMIM: Yes, soon.
(PHONE RINGING) - JUSTIN BROWN: Hey.
- Hey, Justin.
How's it going? It's going well.
How you doing? I'm good, um, when are you heading out? At 12.
It'll probably take me close to an hour - to get there.
- Okay.
Auntie Shamim's here, and we're gonna leave in about ten minutes as well.
I'll see you soon.
Take care.
Bye-bye.
Today we have oral arguments in the Syed appeal.
There's more that can be lost than can be gained right now.
We're defending the opinion of Judge Welch in the circuit court.
And the State's looking to flip-flop things, so they're attacking Welch's opinion on technical grounds.
They're basically saying that we did not have a right to present our winning issue, the cell tower issue, in the court, that the court should have never even heard that in the first place.
And that's a really technical argument.
And then they're gonna argue that there's no reason the attorney would be interested in an alibi witness.
They're gonna make all kinds of arguments like that.
They win an overwhelming number of their cases by making arguments like they are now making.
On the other hand, if we win and if the judges write the right opinion in our favor, that could be enough to dissuade the State from appealing any further.
RABIA: We are going to win.
It's just more time.
- Today will be easy.
- Yes.
- Today's gonna be easy.
- Yes.
Justin will be there and Justin will - will destroy the State.
- Yes, I hope so.
He will do very good.
- (CRIES QUIETLY) - RABIA: It's okay.
- (SPEAKS ARABIC) - Are you upset? (SPEAKS ARABIC) It's okay, it's okay.
Auntie, there's so many of us.
There's hundreds of us who are gonna I mean, like, watching and who are gonna be there.
So many people are coming today.
(SPEAKING ARABIC) What happened? You want to go to the other room, huh? What? (CRYING): I'm sorry.
What are you saying? - Can we cut this for a minute, please? - It's all right.
No, I don't Auntie, come to the other room.
No, it's all right.
It's all right.
- (RABIA CRYING) - It's I'll be fine.
I didn't I didn't tell them.
No, I didn't tell Adnan.
- I just told my husband.
- (RABIA CRYING) I'm fine.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you, you know? No, no, I just - I'm sorry.
- It's It's just (SIGHS) - Did they tell you what stage? - Yeah, the first stage.
- They just found it out.
- Okay.
- They did the bone marrow biopsy.
- Okay.
Inshallah you'll be fine.
They caught it quickly.
I think it's a good idea to tell Adnan.
Yeah, this what my husband say.
You know, he can pray for you.
SHAMIM: Hey, Rabia, he's here.
- JUSTIN: Hey, Rabia! - RABIA: Hey! I like this (INDISTINCT) JUSTIN: Hey, Shamim, how you feeling? Oh, oh, yeah, yeah.
- Hi, everyone.
- WOMAN: Hi! Hi, we're working on a documentary about the case.
We haven't been able to get any access to you.
Can you tell us like why you're continuing - to fight the case? - Forgive me, forgive me.
You can't answer that question? I-I just want to make sure we get over to the court.
- Forgive me.
- Well, there's all of this new evidence that shows that there are questions about the validity of the conviction.
I mean, can you tell us why you're fighting so hard against this case getting a new trial? If I can again, because this is a pending matter, we're gonna decline to comment at this point.
- Thank you so much.
- Is it a personal issue for you? Thank you so much.
RABIA: I don't know what is motivating him.
What I've heard about him is that he is very driven, that he doesn't like to lose.
And he lost.
I mean, he lost the PCR hearing, one of the biggest PCR hearings ever, that had the attention of the entire country, and he lost it, so it could just be that, but I don't know.
NEWSMAN: Today Adnan Syed could be one step closer to getting a brand-new trial.
NEWSWOMAN: The State and Syed's attorney were each given 30 minutes to make their case.
Syed was not present, and they couldn't call any witnesses.
Neither side's saying how they think this will end after spending an hour inside the courthouse.
The point I'd like to make is some things are bigger and more important than technicalities.
We've got someone who is unconstitutionally convicted, who's sitting in jail right now, and we're asking for a new trial.
Thank you.
NEWSWOMAN: Whether or not this will be the final fight in the case now comes down to the court's next decision.
Judges today not giving a time frame for when that might be.
The State prosecutors also declining to comment tonight.
RABIA: I don't know if they're going to give up, but, you know, what I've heard is that the Attorney General has been telling people that we are never we are gonna fight this tooth and nail.
So we are expecting the long haul.
But, I think, you know, the State has every incentive to fight it, because they know that going to trial will be a real disaster for them.
I mean, what is Jay Wilds going to bring to the table now? Jay would not just be subpoenaed.
I mean, his re you know, his He would be impeached through his own criminal records and prior statements and all those things.
(JAY SPEAKING) (JAY SPEAKS) (CAMERA CLICKS, WHINES) MARONEY: The theory is that this car could not have been there for as long as the police claimed it would have been.
In my experiments, we simulated the conditions - during the time of interest.
- Like the weather conditions.
ERVIN: The rain, the light that would have been able to slowly get underneath the car to keep some photosynthesis going.
I did a simulation of how long would it take for the grass to go from a vibrant green to all the way dead.
MARONEY: So what does that experiment tell you about this photo? My experiments weren't conclusive in terms of the length of time.
But then I started looking more closely at the picture.
You can see that there's a lot of leaf blades of the grass that have been pulled up into the treads.
With the rainfall that occurred over those 46 days and the freezing and thawing, I'm very surprised that there's still that much detritus left on those tires.
Because as you get large rainstorms, it would slowly wash this away.
The detritus looks fresh, the path of where the tires picked up the detritus is still fresh.
This could have been parked there the day before.
Uh, it could have been parked there a week ago.
MARONEY: Well, that's consistent with what some of the neighbors told us, which is that the cars, when they were parked there for more than a few days, were often moved because neighbors would call the police and have them move the cars.
That's why I say, six weeks, no.
It's tough to put this much weight - on turf analysis.
- Mm-hmm.
It's just such little data to work on.
AISHA PITTMAN: When someone is convicted of something, everything you think about them ends up lining up to match that story.
I had known Adnan since elementary school, so it, like, just changed for me my level of trust in people in general.
My whole thing at that point was to start over, and I wanted to get out so bad.
Like, and I never wanted to come back.
That's why I always admired Krista.
This is a bunch of letters that And cards that he has sent me through the years.
I mean, he always used to send me birthday cards and he would call me from jail, he would write me letters.
He, like, handmade this card for my son, and the front of it says, "I thought you could use a" and then you open it up, "A big hug.
" And he signed it, "Always eat your vegetables.
Don't ever believe they'll make you like Bruce Lee.
" (LAUGHS) He does not have the life that he imagined, but he has a life.
(SHAMIM SPEAKING) YUSUF: Yeah.
- It's okay, Mom.
- (MUMBLES INDISTINCTLY) (SHAMIM SPEAKING) (STAMMERS) (ADNAN SPEAKING OVER PHONE) My name is Thiru Vignarajah, and I'm running for State's Attorney against Marilyn Mosby.
OFFICER: I've worked tough cases for 20 years.
Thiru always wanted police to be at their best and reminded us that no one's above the law.
He's the best prosecutor this city has ever seen.
We need him now more than ever.
THIRU: We're gonna forge the most innovative, transparent, progressive prosecutor's office in the history of the country.
I probably haven't watched the video since I left the campaign.
He's very good about presenting a public persona.
I'm going to do a lot of things very differently than we have done them in the past.
We're not gonna pursue policies of mass incarceration or zero tolerance.
We're not gonna rely on life without parole for juveniles.
DILL: If you're going to run as a progressive prosecutor, taking on a case where you have someone who was tried as a juvenile, to say, no, this conviction has to stand without any just concrete hard evidence, I think is troubling.
RABIA: Thiru Vignarajah used to work in the Maryland Attorney General's office, so it kind of made sense when he first put the prosecutor on the case, but then he left the Attorney General's office and he went into private practice.
But the strange thing is, he continues to prosecute Adnan's case.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) I've never heard of it.
I think that what it comes down to is he did for the publicity.
When he agreed to take the case, he had already made the decision that he was going to be running for office.
I think he has his eyes on greater political ambitions.
It's not about the law, it's not about justice.
It's about making a name for himself.
New decision in the Adnan Syed case.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld a judge's ruling to vacate his conviction.
(CROWD CHEERING) NEWSMAN 2: Yesterday the Court of Special Appeals ruled to uphold the overturning of the conviction.
Today, we talk with Thiru Vignarajah, and some people may say that prosecuting this case where there are a lot of questions about the original trial isn't particularly progressive.
What does it say about what you would do as State's Attorney? I think being progressive means It means not taking cases, um, forward if there's insufficient evidence, but it also means taking cases forward if there is sufficient evidence and not allowing the whims of public sentiment to drive a particular decision.
(KNOCKING) (SPEAKING ARABIC) How are you? (BABY CRIES) (LAUGHING): He's not scared.
- SYED: He looks good! (LAUGHS) - RABIA: Yeah! RABIA: That's Yaseen.
He is He's eating the sweets that - people brought for your mom.
- SHAMIM: Yeah.
(RABIA LAUGHS) I mean, no, no.
I haven't read it line-by-line.
I'm gonna do that over the weekend.
It's 138 pages.
I was like, oh my God! So I was like just scrolling 'cause I just wanted to see that one line, whether it's affirmed or denied.
It was incredible.
I was just overwhelmed.
It was wonderful.
And then there were parts of the opinion that were so strong, and, uh, that were so favor It almost felt like they Like the court was making an argument for his innocence.
I actually have Can I just read that portion? It says, "The State's case was weakest when it came "to the time it theorized that Syed killed Hae.
"Wilds' own testimony conflicted with "the State's timeline of the murder.
"Moreover, there's no eyewitness testimony, "video surveillance, or confession "of the actual murder, no forensic evidence linking Syed "to the act of strangling Hae or even putting Hae "in the trunk of her car.
"In short, at trial the State adduced no direct evidence "of the exact time that Hae was killed, "the location where she was killed, the acts of the killer immediately before and after Hae was strangled.
" And of course, "the identity of the person who killed Hae.
" It is amazing.
To me, I mean, that's such strong language.
It said that "There is a reasonable probability" that had Asia testified, it would've cast "reasonable doubt" in at least the mind of one juror.
Even before this decision was rendered, the appellate lawyers, who are experts in Maryland appeals, have told us that if we went on the Asia issue, it's highly unlikely that the court will take another appeal, so - (YASEEN FUSSES) - we're in good shape.
- You sounded very excited.
- Really excited.
This is the first time I've seen him, you know, like - Yeah.
- he's really happy, you know? - So (SPEAKS ARABIC) - These are big wins.
What's happening with your health? - Did you tell Adnan yet? - SHAMIM: No, not yet.
- Auntie, you need to tell Adnan.
- I will.
- No, tell him.
- Everything I will.
Everything's calm now.
- Everything's fine.
- (LAUGHS) If you just trust me.
He thinks, you know, that he's supposed to be home to take care of me.
You don't want to wait for something to go wrong.
Oh, no.
No, I will make sure Adnan I will do it this time.
RABIA: I really do think by the end of this year, he'll be home.
(ADNAN SPEAKING OVER PHONE) JUSTIN: If the State were to offer a plea deal, which they haven't, you know, who knows if they will, you know, we would consider it, but he is innocent and he maintains his innocence, so (SIGHS) you know, it would be tricky.
It would have to be an Alford plea, which is a plea whereby a defendant admits that the State has certain evidence and that they could potentially persuade a jury of his guilt, but that they don't actually admit guilt.
You know, my job as a lawyer is to explain all the options and, quite frankly, to create options.
We're always interested in DNA testing.
There are objects that have not been tested, that were never tested.
It's a little tricky, though, because DNA testing could be misleading.
It's not disputed that Adnan was in contact with the victim.
He's her former boyfriend.
They remained friends after the two split up.
So, you know, it wouldn't be at all surprising if his DNA were, you know, in her car.
So, we have been and will continue to be really careful about DNA testing.
We are in the position of controlling this case right now, and the State is playing catch-up.
- JUSTIN: How you doing? - Good, Justin, how you doing, man? (INDISTINCT CHATTERING) AMY: Okay, okay, I know you're in a hurry.
So tell us what happened? So I, yeah, you know I ran into Brian Frosh on the street.
I've never met him in person.
You know, without going into any detail, we there have been some informal talks going on.
He assured us that we would be hearing from his office very soon.
Finally, we settled on four o'clock.
You know, I'm nervous.
I'm nervous about it.
Um, but I'm also cautiously optimistic.
They could express a serious desire to resolve the case.
- (PHONE RINGING) - Skidoodle, skidaddle.
- AMY: Okay.
Okay.
- Give me a little peace.
(CLOCK TICKING) Yeah, he did.
JUSTIN: Okay.
Close the door.
You know, - I'm limited in what I can say, Amy.
- Okay, I understand.
Um, I can tell you that discussions with the State are ongoing.
Um, you know, the two sides have not reached an agreement, and, um, in light of that, uh, the State is They're gonna file their appeal.
I think it's due on Tuesday.
Um But, yeah, so we as of now, um, there's no deal.
It's tough out there, you know? These cases are just so fucking hard to win.
By no means are we in a position of weakness.
We won one appeal, and I'm confident we'll win another appeal.
And, um, if they want to go back to trial, I'm confident that we'll win that trial.
But it's, it's, you know, time is working against us.
You know, my client's in prison right now, and, um, that's something that always weighs on you.
You know, they want to file an appeal? Boom, that's you know, maybe a year and a half.
(AMY SPEAKING) I suspect when you see a brief filed on Tuesday, his name's gonna be on it.
I personally find it troubling that someone who's actively running for public office, and in the process is actively seeking publicity, is handling this very high-profile case.
I don't think it makes our criminal justice system look good, um, and it's concerning to me.
There are new developments this morning in the case of Adnan Syed.
Maryland's Attorney General asking the State's highest court to deny him a new trial.
NEWSMAN: Now to a story we brought you as breaking news yesterday: one of the most heated races in the primary elections is going on in Baltimore City.
It's for the State's Attorney's office.
RABIA: Thiru is running against two other candidates for State's Attorney.
There's the incumbent, who's Marilyn Mosby, and she has not ever stated a position on Adnan's case.
And then the other opponent in this race is Ivan Bates, and he publicly has stated that he doesn't think there's enough evidence to convict Adnan.
Justice has to mean that we get it right, and if we get it wrong, we hurry up and fix it.
And to me, this is a perfect example where they just got it wrong.
RABIA: So if Ivan Bates wins, that's an exoneration for Adnan.
That's not a plea deal, that's not another trial, it's not an acquittal.
It's a full It's like you're done.
We're done with you.
But beyond that, he said he would reopen the investigation.
That means all those leads that nobody followed up on, all that evidence that might still exist somewhere I think we could actually find out who killed Hae Min Lee.
It's a big deal.
So, we're at 19% reporting now, Ivan Bates is holding steady at 30%.
I feel like he could win tonight.
Okay, okay, okay.
Let me get some ice.
(RABIA SPEAKING ARABIC) - SHAMIM: I think that's - YUSUF: That enough? - Yeah.
Want some? - Yeah.
NEWSMAN: Of course, these three candidates all Democrats.
There is no Republicans running in this race, so they will become the de facto city State's Attorney.
YUSUF: Very soon, inshallah, Adnan will be home with us.
(INDISTINCT CHATTER) RABIA: Thiru's gotten 18% of the vote.
That's a lot, lot higher than I thought.
And Ivan is only at 30%, but, okay, 56% of 295 precincts are reporting and it really depends on the precinct.
There are gonna be precincts where Ivan sweeps it, right? I think.
(SIGHS) NEWSMAN: Another very exciting race here this evening.
It's been a heated race for Baltimore City's State's Attorney - These are the latest poll numbers.
- (RABIA SCOFFING) It's over.
I think, with 85%.
NEWSMAN: And just moments ago, Marilyn Mosby was declared the winner, beating out her two rivals.
Let's go now to Mike Hellgren, live at Marilyn Mosby's headquarters.
Mike? There has been a festive atmosphere all night.
Marilyn Mosby was able to pull it off.
She will speak here any moment now, and we will bring it to you as it happens.
Back to you, Vic.
(SIGHS) Oh God, it would've been so neat and clean and easy.
He would've been sworn in January 2019, right around the time of the 20-year anniversary.
Adnan would've come home.
Mosby's never gonna reopen the investigation, and that, honestly, is one thing that I really wanted.
Get matches for all that evidence, you know? DILL: Thiru spoke to me very openly about the Adnan Syed case.
You know, he said, yes, there is DNA evidence, there's biological evidence.
And I said, well, why haven't you tested it? And his response was, well, it's not our It's not our responsibility as prosecutors to test the evidence.
If it's going to show that Adnan's guilty and that there's no question about it, why not test it and just put that evidence out there? And yet, he had no interest in doing that.
JUSTIN: Now that the State's filed its second appeal, it seems like a very logical time to refocus on DNA testing.
I met last week with Brian Frosh, who's the Attorney General.
The State agreed they would conduct more testing, but we would have input in that so that we can propose things to be tested.
When the police obtain evidence, everything gets logged, and this is what the log looks like.
One of the items is described as "left fingernail, right fingernail.
" If Hae scratched at or clawed at whoever committed the murder, there might be DNA evidence in her fingernails.
There were standard swabs taken by the medical examiner.
There was a rope that was found very close to the body.
Those can also be tested.
This is a report.
It indicates that a fingerprint or two were taken off the rear-view mirror in Hae's car.
The fingerprints were never compared to anyone else.
They could show that somebody had moved the car other than Adnan or Jay or even Hae.
If the detectives were really open-minded, you would think they would've tested that stuff.
But they had it in their mind that Syed had done this, and they set out to prove that.
BRINDLE-KHYM: We get so focused on what happened - after the body was discovered - Mm-hmm.
that we have to kind of go back and look at, well, what clues might there be where her body was found, what condition it was it found in.
And I think Jan Gorniak, um, from Fulton County will be able to give us some good thoughts.
- GORNIAK: Hi.
- Dr.
Gorniak - You're a forensic pathologist.
- Yes, I am.
I was a Deputy Chief medical examiner in Washington, D.
C.
, and I was there for a couple of years before I got offered the job as the Chief medical examiner in Atlanta.
I consider myself a death detective, and I use the body and some of the circumstances to help me determine a diagnosis, which is my cause and manner of death.
So I did look at some scene photographs, autopsy photographs, the autopsy report.
MARONEY: One of the reasons we're coming to you is to ask, if from a scientific perspective and based on your experience and having read this, are there any conclusions you can draw that might help us understand how she died.
I'm reading from the transcript from the closing statements - by the prosecution.
- Okay.
"There is no doubt this was murder.
"HML was strangled to death on January 13th.
"She was buried in Leakin Park, she was killed in her own car, "and her head hits the window as she was pushing to get away.
These are facts that we know from the evidence in the case.
" The hyoid bone was broken, which is the U-shaped bone that sits high up in your neck, and that's one of the things we look at in an autopsy to determine the cause of death, which is strangulation.
So I believe that the cause is strangulation, and the, the manner was homicide.
Would you expect to see anything else in the medical examiner's report to support this thesis? Meaning that she was strangled in the car - and there was a struggle? - Correct.
I would Yes, I would, um, especially in that I'm just picturing a sedan, um, and someone - fighting for their life, literally.
- Mm-hmm.
So what's there? You have the dash, you have the window.
You might see bruises or contusions on the arm.
You might see broken fingernails, which there were no broken fingernails.
So you often see multiple injuries to multiple parts of the body based on the struggle, - and you do not see that in this case? - That is correct.
BRINDLE-KHYM: But the statement in the prosecution's closing argument about her face being up against the window, is there any evidence that would be consistent with that kind of injury? So in the autopsy report, they talk about right temporalis muscle hemorrhage, but there's no description of hemorrhage in the subgaleal tissue.
If there's supposedly enough force to have hemorrhage in that muscle, there should have been enough force to have hemorrhage underneath the scalp.
So I don't think that's real.
I think it might be post-mortem changes.
Sometimes you can see lividity.
BRINDLE-KHYM: What is lividity? GORNIAK: Lividity is the settling of the blood after you die.
And so depending on the position, it's gonna go towars the dependent areas.
So if you're on your back, it's going to shift towards your back.
It's where it's going to settle.
- So gravity's gonna pull it down.
- Correct.
But if there's anything that's compressing it, that's gonna be a blanched area.
So you can see the double diamond-shaped mark on her shoulder.
This is lividity around it, right? Something had to be pushed against her and her being facedown.
It would take 8 to 12 hours for those - patterns to actually become fixed.
- Correct.
What times does the State argue that she was killed? - Exactly what time? - At 2:30 p.
m.
MARONEY: She disappeared around 2:30 and then her body was buried around 7:30, five, six hours later.
BRINDLE-KHYM: The lividity had to be fixed in this range sometime between 10:30 p.
m.
and 2:30 a.
m.
- in the middle of the night - Correct.
in order for it to leave any kind of markings like that.
Correct.
Nothing that fits a description of this shape was found near her body.
Where we're going with this is that it's possible that Hae's body was somewhere else and not in Leakin Park when the police say that it was.
I believe that she had to be in a place between 8 to 12 hours in order for that mark to be stayed there.
MARONEY: Whatever happened to Hae, the idea that she was buried at 7:30 p.
m.
cannot be true.
It's very hard to think one thing for 20 years And I'm open to new information But I can't think about it too much.
One of the things for me of, like, why I wanted to sit down with you is because I want to make sure people remember, like, this was a person that lived and had a life, and not just become so focused about, you know, this is an interesting case.
Like, it's people's lives.
DEBBIE WARREN: If Adnan is not the perpetrator, she would be equally concerned about his innocence coming to light as she would be finding the person who took her life.
But if he's not the perpetrator ANNOUNCER: 10-10 WOLB Baltimore and WERQ-FM HD3 Baltimore.
Good afternoon and welcome to another edition of the DMV Daily Radio Show.
I'm your host Hassan Giordano, Mr.
Politics, back in the building.
Joining us today in the studio, Rabia Chaudry, an immigration attorney, a New York Times bestselling author.
My first question would be, how is the brother doin' in jail? Well, he's doin' okay.
I mean, Adnan is like one of the most, like, even-keeled people, the kindest people.
He spends 90% of his time asking like, hey, are you okay? You know? If things were not okay, he wouldn't even tell anybody he loves, because he doesn't want to upset people, but he's hanging in there.
And I will say this, when the conviction was overturned the first time, I was like, "Adnan you're coming home!" I was like crying.
He's like, "Rabia, it's gonna take some time.
" He's like He predicted then, it'll take two to three more years.
If we win this final appeal, which I think we will, the State has to decide fairly soon that we are actually gonna go to trial or we're gonna let him go, drop charges, or we're gonna give him a plea deal.
They can't wait forever while they're deciding whether or not they're going to take this to trial.
Regardless, I mean, and I've listened to everything, I don't know a hundred percent that he's not guilty.
I wasn't there.
What I do know is that they didn't prove he was guilty.
You know what I mean? And that's what anyone is entitled to.
- Justin.
Why don't you sit over there.
- JUSTIN: Hi.
Right here? We've sort of been playing defense, and we're now getting to the point where a trial is within sight.
And we need to re-shift our focus into figuring out what actually happened.
We have more questions for you than you have for us probably.
- Oh yeah? - (CHUCKLING) We feel like we've made a lot - of progress in some areas - Right.
and in some other questions, we just continue to kind of hit our head against a brick wall.
There are people of interest, there are suspects, there are people who may know more than they have let on.
Like, I mean, one of the most fascinating examples of that to me is, um, Alonzo Sellers, who found the body, was treated briefly as an alternative suspect.
GUTIERREZ: You recall the day that you found the body in Leakin Park, don't you? That was a pretty important day for you, was it not? - URICK: Objection! - If you had explained that, I would've known what you were talking about.
For years people have wondered if there's more to his story.
But in the last six months or so, there's been a new theory that we've been investigating, which is what caused these, what we're calling, double-diamond impressions on Hae you know, her collarbone? There has been some suggestion that those impressions were made by what's called a concrete shoe, and this is a tool that's put on the bottom of a grinder, which you would grind up concrete.
But the reason this is interesting is that we know that Alonzo Sellers worked in concrete for years and years and years and years.
We have been trying to talk to Alonzo.
Luke and I knocked on his door.
We wanted to simply say, what do you remember about this case? He refused to talk to us.
I hadn't realized how close he lives to Woodlawn.
It's a five-minute walk.
BRINDLE-KHYM: That's the school.
Hae vanished seemingly without a trace, but we do know that where she was going after school was, according to witnesses, she was going to meet with Don.
She was intending to pick up her cousin directly after leaving and then going to see Don.
Don Clinedinst is an enigma to us, even to this day.
And the main reason for that is, back at the time, the police did not investigate him with any level of depth.
As far as we know, he was at work the day that Hae went missing.
When LensCrafters produced their records to the State, whoever prepared that at LensCrafters went out of their way to put it into bold that Anita, who is Don's mother, was the manager at the Hunt Valley store.
We wanted to know more about LensCrafters.
Of all the 40-some people we ended up speaking with, one of the most credible and authoritative voices on the subject was Thomas Precht.
He's worked there for 32 years.
One of the real takeaways from Thomas Precht was that, even the fact that Don was working at Hunt Valley on the Wednesday was out of the norm.
On Wednesday, we see that Don is not scheduled to work in the lab, but we do see time entries for him on his timecard showing that he punched in at 9:02 in the morning.
Only reason I can imagine he was called in is if Charles had called out sick.
Charles Curbin was the lab manager of the Hunt Valley store.
BRINDLE-KHYM: And in fact, we have Charles' timecard for that week.
He was working on Wednesday and not out sick.
PRECHT: There's no reason I can imagine that there was two of them in there on a Wednesday.
It just doesn't make any sense.
BRINDLE-KHYM: Is there a way to create a phantom shift so-to-speak, without leaving a trace? If you were doing it in real time, you could do it, if you if you had his password, you could have been doing that.
There's another employee who worked with Don at Hunt Valley in the lab.
I'm going to refer to him by his initials "S.
H.
," and we've been trying to talk to S.
H.
for almost three years.
He did come out of the woodwork a couple of days ago.
So, our interest is piqued, but to be clear, we don't have any direct evidence connecting Don to the crime, and at this point, we haven't been able to corroborate S.
H.
's story with others.
Unfortunately, the police didn't end up speaking to Don in person until February 4th, which is three weeks after Hae went missing.
If they had done so closer to her disappearance, their records might have shown whether or not Don had scratches and bandages on his hands.
MARONEY: And to the extent that we cannot get answers to those questions, there may be other options, such as, if Adnan gets a new trial for example, there may be subpoena power that can be used to get email records, to get official records from LensCrafters, for example.
One of the frustrating things for all involved is how little there is to go on, right? - Yeah.
- I mean, the State essentially used a single witness and what has now been essentially cast aside as corroborating evidence of the cell phone towers.
Can you remind us why there was no DNA testing? That was a decision made by the State.
The police worked backwards, they had their guy, um, and then they sought out evidence that would prove his guilt.
They didn't have to look laterally, they looked straight ahead.
Until now we haven't really had the opportunity to do DNA testing, and I'm happy to address this.
There were 12 samples that were tested for DNA.
Um Adnan's DNA was not found in the fingernails, it wasn't found on any sample taken from inside of the car, it wasn't found on any sample from Hae's body.
Adnan's DNA was not found anywhere.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
It's not just that Adnan's DNA wasn't identified on any of these items, it's that nobody else's - DNA is also identifiable? - Nobody else's.
Right, right.
There's something called longer wire and shorter wire.
I think those are pieces of what were described as ropes that were found very close I think, within like 18 inches of where the body was.
There was a DNA profile pulled from that, but whoever that profile belongs to, um, they're not in the system.
Well, what does that mean, "in the system"? When people are arrested for certain types of crimes, DNA samples are taken.
Police can match DNA that they recover to other profiles in that database.
We requested testing of latents that were pulled from the rear-view mirror of Hae's car.
There are no hits in the system.
We submitted a list of police officers who were involved in this case.
- Like the detectives? Okay.
- Including Ritz, MacGillivary, um, any other name we could come up with.
I think we submitted about ten in all, and they have reported back to us that there was no match.
So that means there's someone out here who's not in the system MARONEY: Someone who's never been arrested before.
Someone who's never been booked.
We know Alonzo's fingerprints are likely in the system but his DNA may not be because it would not necessarily have been collected when he was arrested previously.
That doesn't mean that we can rule him out.
Another alternative suspect was Don Clinedinst.
We don't have any evidence that he was ever arrested.
JUSTIN: I have no reason to think his fingerprints would be in the database.
MARONEY: Mm-hmm.
Okay.
JUSTIN: We would hope for different results, but, you know, I'm at the point now where I view this as a potential trial.
This kind of stuff is to our advantage.
The fact that they took additional objects from this car where there was allegedly this, you know, physical confrontation and this struggle, um, and did not find any of Adnan's DNA in it, um, I think that helps us.
Um, I think it helps us show that whoever was in that car, it was not Adnan.
In a few minutes, I'm gonna go over and meet with the Attorney General, and I believe they're gonna make some kind of offer to resolve the case.
KRISTA: I feel like the saddest part is the fact that it took Rabia being a thorn in people's sides to get people to realize that this needs another look.
You wonder how many people out there have been convicted of, or are sitting in jail or awaiting trial, that the evidence might not be there, and they are away from their families and missing the real world for something that they didn't even do.
And I think that's the saddest part.
Um, and then, obviously, the other saddest part is that Hae is gone, and we still don't know what happened to her.
And short of someone confessing or coming forward and saying this is what happened and this is what I did, we're probably never gonna know what really happened to her.
And that's gotta leave a huge hole in her family's heart.
How'd it go? I don't know.
They want him to plead guilty, no Alford plea, um, and they want him to serve four more years of prison.
Okay.
We're dealing with, um, very smart people on the other end.
You know they're trying to figure out what our breaking point is right? As as you would do in any negotiation.
And, um You know, they've actually done a pretty good job to get us to a breaking point.
You know? Like I don't I don't know whether he would take it or not.
He might.
I have a lot of respect for Frosh.
He understands that Adan's almost served 20 years, and I think he's sympathetic to that.
But on the other side, they're obviously in touch with the family of the victim, - and, um - Right.
you know, they are pushing very hard.
The victim's family is pushing very hard.
Um, they are doing everything they can to keep Adnan in jail.
You know, you can sort of see the turmoil - going on inside the Attorney General.
- Right.
I wonder where the four years comes from, though.
Like, it comes out to a total of 23 years, which just seems so random.
When was he, um how long are the terms for an Attorney General? Are they four years? I guess it would be right after his next re-election, but I I don't think, I don't think that has anything to do with it.
I mean, that that would be you know (SIGHS) We both agree that, um, you know, we could proceed with oral arguments and then withdraw the appeal sometime after that, but if this is gonna get done, it's gonna get done quickly.
Hey, Adnan.
I met with the State today, and I have a great, great hesitancy about discussing it over the phone.
He's got to make a really difficult decision.
He could turn down this offer and we could lose the case, and he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
And you can imagine how hard it would be to live with that decision.
It's easy to say, well, why would anyone ever plead guilty to something that they didn't do? But it literally happens every day.
Our criminal justice system is not always fair, and it's not always right.
You know, this-this is reality.
(ADNAN SPEAKING) (RABIA SPEAKING) (SPEAKS ARABIC) (ADNAN SPEAKING OVER PHONE) All right, what do you guys got? I think the arguments went very well for us.
If and when we prevail, then we will be set in for a new trial.
We expect a ruling, at the latest, to be by August 2019.
So at that point, the State has no more state appeals left.
Are they gonna go to the U.
S.
Supreme Court? I doubt it.
So then they'll have to decide what they want to do.
REPORTER: What do you want to tell your son if you could speak to him right now after watching this? (INDISTINCT CHATTERING) (SIGHS) ("TIME IS THE KILLER" BY RAIN PHOENIX PLAYING) Everybody's dying To know Where we go When we die Everybody's crying For those Who go Before their time Time is the killer Time is the killer Time Everybody's lying When we say