Serial Witness Offers an Apology to Adnan Syed

Asia McClain regrets not coming forward to testify sooner
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2016 11:21 AM CST
Serial Witness Offers an Apology to Adnan Syed
Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore.   (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Now that she's told a court about seeing Adnan Syed at a school library around the time authorities allege he was murdering his ex-girlfriend, alibi witness Asia McClain is speaking directly to the convicted killer. Asked what she would like to say to Syed, McClain tells ABC News, "I would just personally apologize that I didn't come forward in 2010." Though McClain described her Jan. 13, 1999 meeting with Syed in a letter written after his arrest, she was never asked to testify at his trial. When attorneys tried to get Syed a new trial more than a decade later, McClain couldn't be found, reports the Baltimore Sun. "I didn't think I was very important at all," McClain testified. But after appearing in the podcast Serial, "I was compelled by my children" to come forward, she says. "Stepping up to tell the truth was very important to me. I want my kids to know their mom was strong."

During a post-conviction hearing that wrapped Tuesday, McClain said she saw Syed at the library between 2:15 and 2:35pm. However, prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah noted witnesses saw Hae Min Lee leaving school alone around 3pm, meaning there would have been time for Lee to pick Syed up and drive to the parking lot where prosecutors allege she was strangled. "Asia McClain was not a weapon for the defense, but a potential weakness," he said, arguing Syed's original lawyer didn't pursue an alibi strategy for that reason. Vignarajah also suggested McClain's alibi letter may have been crafted with Syed's help. That's "the most convoluted conspiracy theory I have heard put forward by a prosecutor," Syed's lawyer said. In a statement, Syed said "the events of the past 16 months have filled me with a great sense of hope, and I intend to keep fighting to prove my innocence." (More Adnan Syed stories.)

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