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Asia McClain is a name all Serial fans know well. She’s the person who told Adnan Syed she remembers seeing him at the public library during the time the state claims he murdered Hae Min Lee in 1999. McClain was never asked to testify at trial, and now Syed is petitioning for an appeal partially based on his claim that his first lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, didn’t attempt to use McClain as a potential alibi witness.
McClain has now written a new affidavit standing by her alibi for Syed, explaining why she didn’t come forward earlier and claiming that former prosecutor Kevin Urick discouraged her from participating in the appeals process.
McClain wrote her first affidavit when Syed’s family friend approached her about the letters she had written to him while he was incarcerated. However, during Syed’s appeal proceedings, McClain refused to talk to his defense team and instead reached out to Urick, who testified she said she’d written the first affidavit under pressure from Syed’s family.
“I never told Urick that I recanted my story or affidavit about January 13, 1999,” says McClain in her new affidavit, published on The Blaze. “In addition, I did not write the March 1999 letters or the affidavit because of pressure from Syed’s family. I did not write them to please Syed’s family or to get them off my back. What actually happened is that I wrote the affidavit because I wanted to provide the truth about what I remembered.”
McClain told The Blaze that she thought there was “a tremendous amount of evidence that convicted Adnan” and she hadn’t understood the importance of her testimony.
In the new affidavit, McClain writes about her conversation with Urick in 2010, a phone call with him where she took notes that she still has. “Urick discussed the evidence of the case in a manner that seemed designed to get me to think Syed was guilty and that I should not bother participating in the case by telling what I knew about January 13, 1999,” wrote McClain. “Urick convinced me into believing that I should not participate in any ongoing proceedings.”
Urick denied these allegations. “Absolutely false,” he told The Blaze. “I was not the one that brought up anything about evidence. She asked me, was it a strong case? I said yes. That was about the extent of my response.” He added, “She definitely told me that she wrote what she wrote to appease the family, to get them off her back.”
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is still making its decision about Syed’s latest petition for an appeal.
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