The family of the woman convicted of the murder of freed prisoner Adnan Syed are furious at the way his recent release was handled – and claim they were barred from the trial entirely, her lawyer said on Tuesday.
Attorney Steve Kelly says the family of murder victim Hae Min Lee felt betrayed by the Baltimore prosecutor’s decision to release Syed – who had served about two decades in prison for allegedly strangling the teenager before a podcast had problems with his case highlighted.
“Whether Adnan is guilty or not is beside the point,” Kelly said in an interview on CNN.
“They’ve been told that for decades. And the problem is, nobody wants to find out who killed Hae more than her brother and mother. What happened yesterday… they were completely locked out of the process. This is a predetermined agreement between the prosecutor, the defense, even the court.”
Syed, 41, who was the subject of the popular podcast Serial, was released from prison on Monday after a court decided to overturn his conviction in the 1999 murder because of flaws in his trial.
Baltimore District Judge Melissa Phinn ruled Monday that the state had failed to share evidence with Syed’s attorneys that could have contributed to his defense.
Kelly said the Lee family was more than “devastated” that prosecutors had not thoroughly explained why the sudden reversal occurred.
“No one wanted to hear from them or give them a reasonable opportunity to fight back or even understand,” Kelly said. “The family… These are people who are very simple, hardworking people. They are not experienced lawyers but are open to new evidence. They are sensible people and all they wanted was information.”
After a hearing Monday, Lee’s brother Young said the family thinks the case has been settled.
“This is not a podcast for me. That’s real life,” he told reporters.
The family also released a statement on Monday, which concluded, “The Lee family is deeply disappointed that today’s hearing took place so quickly and that they were denied the proper notice that would have allowed them to have a meaningful voice in the procedure.”
Syed was released after years of investigation by the Baltimore City Attorney’s Office and Syed’s defense team, who said they had uncovered new evidence linking other possible suspects to Lee’s murder.
Syed was convicted in 1999 of kidnapping and murdering 18-year-old Lee, Syed’s classmate and former girlfriend at Baltimore High School.
After returning home on Monday, Syed’s friend Rabia Chaudry shared a video of Syed eating leftovers.
“Leftovers at home never tasted so good,” Chaudry tweeted.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/20/hae-min-lees-family-feels-blindsided-by-adnan-syeds-release-lawyer/ Hae Min Lee’s family feels ‘taken aback’ by Adnan Syed’s release: lawyer