Adnan Syed's imprisonment and its surrounding complexities are the focus of the widely-heard Serial podcast. If you have been keeping up, you will know about an alibi witness named Asia McClain who remembers seeing him at the library at the time of the murder in 1999.
Syed is now 35 years old, and he's still hopeful for a new trial to repeal his convictions for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, who was only 18 years old when she was killed.
Syed's attorney C. Justin Brown called Asia McClain the "missing piece of the puzzle." He blames human error as well as Syed's first defense attorney Christina Gutierrez for not seeing the importance of McClain and failing to call her as a witness. Gutierrez has since passed, but Adnan's life remains behind bars.
Syed maintains his innocence. He is no longer the fresh-faced teen, as he now sports a black beard.
Brown brings up two massive arguments that he hopes to use to win this trial. First, Gutierrez was too ill during the time she represented Syed that she completely lost focus and didn't claim McClain as an alibi witness. Secondly, she didn't call attention to the unreliable phone records that were used as evidence to prove that Syed was at the crime scene at the time of the murder.
Attorney Phil Dante, a friend of Gutierrez, admits that he saw a change in her during mid 1990s.
"The questioning was confusing, she looked like she had a high level of anxiety, she didn't seem in control. It looked to me like she was starting to lose it."
In 2001, Dante began to represent Gutierrez as she was accused of misconduct by 20 former clients, causing her to eventually become disbarred.
Although everyone wanted her to represent them, her health continued to fail.
"She couldn't walk, she couldn't drive, she couldn't see. It's kind of hard to practice law."
But she was in denial. She continued to work even though she couldn't put all her focus into her clients. Which is why she must have not included McClain on the witness list in Syed's case.