New in Serial Case: Cell Phone Expert Says Disclaimer Could Have Changed Testimony

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Adnan Syed
Adnan Syed

A new affadavit filed Tuesday in the case brought to light by the Serial podcast indicates an expert witness who testified against Adnan Syed may have had different testimony if he had all available information.

The affadavit, posted by Syed’s attorney C. Justin Brown and first reported on by the Baltimore Sun, includes a statement by Abe Waranowitz, a radio frequency engineer who was called as an expert witness to explain how cell phone data placed Syed in Leakin Park, where Hae Min Lee’s body was buried. Now, Waranowitz said he was not shown a legal disclaimer that cautioned about the reliability of AT&T’s incoming calls in locating a cell phone.

“If I had been made aware of this disclaimer, it would have affected my testimony,” he said. “I would not have affirmed the interpretation of a phone’s possible geographic location until I could ascertain the reasons and details for the disclaimer.”

Waranowitz said he was presented with only one page of cell phone data, which he was reviewing for the first time.

“I do not know why this information was not pointed out to me,” he said of the additional document.

Syed’s legal team is arguing that he should be allowed a new trial in the 1999 murder case, questioning the representation he received from attorney Cristina Gutierrez. The team argues that the existence of alibi witness Asia McClain and the cell phone data add new angles to the case.

Since Serial ended, Rabia Chaudry has been digging into the case further in another podcast called Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed.



Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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