"Defense attorneys for Serial podcast subject Adnan Syed are fighting the Maryland attorney general's appeal of a ruling that vacated Syed's 2000 murder conviction for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and ordered him a new trial. In an application for a cross appeal filed Thursday, Syed's defense attorneys also say that if the Court of Special Appeals decides to hear the state's appeal, they want to appeal a separate aspect of the ruling by Judge Martin Welch concerning an alibi witness, Asia McClain. McClain testified at a February 2016 hearing that she was with Syed at a library during the time prosecutors allege Syed murdered Hae Min Lee on Jan. 13, 1999. The defense team argues that the failure of Syed's original defense attorney, Maria Gutierrez, to contact McClain before Syed's trial should have been a reason for Welch to grant Syed a new trial. Welch said in his June 30 ruling that McClain’s testimony – while it could have contradicted the state's theory that Syed murdered Lee between 2:15 and 2:36 p.m. – was not reason enough to vacate his sentence. Instead, Welch granted Syed a retrial based solely on Gutierrez's failure to cross-examine the prosecution's cell tower expert about a fax cover sheet, supplied by AT&T, which stated that cell tower records are unreliable for tracking incoming calls. Prosecutors have used those incoming-call records to allegedly place Syed at a Baltimore park around 7 p.m. on the day of Lee's disappearance – and around the time that prosecution witness Jay Wilds said Syed was burying Lee. (Her body was found in the park about a month later.) "The state wants to appeal the cell tower issue, upon which the new trial was granted, and we would want to appeal the alibi issue," Syed's lead attorney, Justin Brown, writes on his website, where he posted a copy of the cross appeal."http://www.people.com/article/serials-adnan-syed-attorney-fights-state-appeal-of-ruling-granting-new-trial
See Wikipedia report on the murder of Hae Min Lee at the link below; Hae Min Lee (Hangul: 이해민; 1980–1999) was a Woodlawn High School senior in Baltimore, Maryland who disappeared on January 13, 1999. Her body was found February 9, 1999, in Leakin Park, the victim of murder by manual strangulation. Adnan Masud Syed, her ex-boyfriend, was convicted of first degree murder and was serving a life sentence plus 30 years. Syed was granted a new trial in July 2016.  While her murder initially generated only local interest, it was the subject of the podcast Serial in 2014, which brought international attention to Syed's trial.Background: Hae Min Lee was born in South Korea in 1980 and emigrated with her mother Youn Kim and her brother Young Lee to the United States in 1992 to live with her grandparents. Lee attended the magnet program at Woodlawn High School near Baltimore, Maryland. She was an athlete who played lacrosse and field hockey. Investigation: Lee disappeared on January 13, 1999, and her family reported her missing that day, after she failed to pick up her young cousin from school at about 3:15 pm. On February 9, 1999, Lee's body was found by a passerby in Leakin Park. On February 1, 1999, the Baltimore County Police received an anonymous phone call suggesting that Lee's ex-boyfriend, Adnan Masud Syed, was responsible for her murder, and that Syed had threatened to kill Lee. On February 3, Baltimore Police received call records for a cell phone belonging to Syed. They noticed a number of calls on the day of Lee's disappearance to a woman named Jen Pusateri. When questioned, Pusateri told police that a friend of hers, Jay Wilds, who had known Syed from high school, told her that Syed had killed Lee. The police questioned Wilds, who told them that he had helped Syed bury Lee's body and dispose of her car. Syed was arrested on February 28, 1999, and charged with first degree murder. Officers also interviewed the man that discovered the victim's body. Trials and appeals: Syed's family hired defense attorney Cristina Gutierrez to represent him. During Syed's first trial, jurors accidentally overheard a sidebar dispute between Gutierrez and the presiding judge in which he referred to her as a "liar". After learning that the jury had heard his characterization, the judge declared a mistrial. A second trial lasted six weeks and Syed was found guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and robbery on February 25, 2000. Syed was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. On February 6, 2015, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals approved Syed's application for leave to appeal. On May 19, 2015, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals remanded the case to Superior Court for potential hearing on the admissibility of alibi testimony of Asia McClain, who claimed to have been talking with Syed in the library at the exact time the evidence the prosecutor said Syed attacked Lee in a Best Buy parking lot several miles away. On November 9, 2015, the Superior Court decided it would hear the case. According to the investigation by Serial, McClain's account of her encounter with Syed on the day of the disappearance would have been helpful at trial. Justin Brown, Syed's current appeals lawyer, has claimed that new evidence about the reliability of incoming call data from AT&T is suspect and should be reviewed by an appeals court, stating, "the cell tower evidence was misleading and should have never been admitted at trial." On November 6, 2015, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch ordered that Syed's post-conviction relief proceedings, which determines if he deserves a new trial, would be re-opened "in the interests of justice for all parties." The post-conviction relief hearing, originally scheduled to last two days, lasted five days from February 3 – 9, 2016. The hearing was attended by people from across the US, including Koenig and McClain, who testified that she talked to Syed at the library on January 13, 1999. On June 30, 2016, Judge Martin P. Welch granted Syed's request for a new trial, ruling that Gutierrez "rendered ineffective assistance when she failed to cross-examine the state's expert regarding the reliability of cell tower location evidence," vacating Syed's conviction. Aftermath: Serial and Undisclosed podcasts: For more details on this topic, see Serial (podcast) § Season 1 (2014). From October 3 to December 18, 2014, the murder trial of Adnan Syed was the subject of the first season of the podcast Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig. The podcast episodes generated international interest in the trial, and had been downloaded more than 100 million times by June 2016. In 2015, lawyer Rabia Chaudry (an advocate for Syed who had introduced the case to Koenig) and others began producing a podcast called Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed. Investigation Discovery aired a one-hour special called Adnan Syed: Innocent or Guilty? on June 14, 2016 based on a new analysis of evidence brought up in the podcasts.\ The two books were published in relation of the Serial Podcast with Confessions of a Serial Alibi written by Asia McClain Chapman released on June 7, 2016 and Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry to be released on August 9, 2016.