Baltimore City Circuit Court - 2000 - after the second trial

Friday, February 25, 2000
Jury verdict finds Adnan guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery.
Monday, March 06, 2000
Adnan's trial attorney Cristina Gutierrez files Motion for a New Trial
Wednesday, April 05, 2000
The trial Judge, Wanda Heard, grants Adnan’s request to dismiss Cristina Gutierrez and to postpone the sentencing so that Petitioner’s new attorney had time to adequately prepare.
Tuesday, June 06, 2000
Adnan is sentenced to Life plus 30 years and Judge Heard also dismisses Gutierrez's Motion for a New Trial.
Friday, July 28, 2000
Adnan's new attorney, Charles Dorsey, files a Motion for Modification of Sentence.
Tuesday, August 22, 2000
Judge Heard denied the Motion for Modification of Sentence

Court of Special Appeals - 2002 to 2003 - Direct Appeals

Wednesday, February 27, 2002
Adnan makes his first appeal. The Appellant's brief was submitted by attorneys Warren Brown and Lisa Sansone. Two pages of the appendices are missing, but we do have alternative copies available of App. 19 and App. 21 which are extracts from court transcripts.
Before this, there must have been an Application for Leave to Appeal submitted but we don't have a copy.
Tuesday, April 30, 2002
The State submitted their written response to Adnan's Appeal, the Appellee Brief.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
A panel of three judges from CoSA, John Bishop (retired), Joseph F Murphy (then CoSA Chief Judge) and Sally Adkins, denied Adnan's appeal.The judges' written decision (Memorandum Opinion) is in two sections, Part 1 and Part 2.

Court of Appeals - 2003

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Adnan had asked the Court of Appeals of Maryland, Maryland's highest level State court, permission to put his appeal to them, aka a petition for writ of certiorari. They denied the "cert" petition, in other words they said No to even starting the appeal.

Baltimore City Circuit Court - 2010 to 2014 - Seeking Post Conviction Relief (PCR)

Friday, May 28, 2010
Defense Attorney C. Justin Brown files Adnan's Petition for Post Conviction Relief.
Exhibits are included within the main document from page 22 onwards: 1. Gutierrez' clerk's notes July 13 2000, 2. Asia McClain Affidavit March 25 2000, 3. Debbie W statement to police March 26 1999, 4. Asia McClain’s March 1 1999 letter to Syed, 5. Asia McClain’s March 2 1999 letter to Syed, 6. Letter from Rahmans (Adnan's parents) to Gutierrez, 30 March 2000, 7. Letter from Rahmans (parents) to Judge Heard.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Motions hearing for the Post Conviction petition.
Monday, December 20, 2010
A scheduled date for the Post-Conviction hearing which was postponed.
Judge Welch explained in his June 2016 Opinion (page 9) that of the seven postponed dates for this 2012 hearing "Petitioner requested a majority of these postponements in his attempt to produce McClain, an out-of-state witness, for the October 2012 post-conviction hearing".
Monday, June 27, 2011
Adnan filed a Supplement to his Petition for PC relief. This was later referenced by Brown and included results of a lie detector test taken by Adnan about Gutierrez's conduct (see page 111) which were not admitted.
Monday, August 08, 2011
A scheduled date for the Post-Conviction hearing which was postponed.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Adnan's attorney Justin Brown asked the Court to disqualify Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) Kathleen C Murphy, as he intended to call her as a witness.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
A scheduled date for the post-conviction hearing which was postponed, possibly as the decision whether to disqualify KC Murphy had not yet been resolved.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Motions hearing for the PCR petition. Originally scheduled for the PCR hearing but that item was postponed, instead the attorneys discussed Adnan’s Motion to Disqualify KC Murphy
Monday, February 13, 2012
Adnan’s Motion to Disqualify Counsel was denied, so Murphy continued to represent the State, and Adnan was prevented from calling her as a witness.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
A scheduled date for the post-conviction hearing which was postponed.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
A scheduled date for the post-conviction hearing which was postponed.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
A scheduled date for the post-conviction hearing which was postponed.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Day 1 of Adnan's first PCR hearing with Judge Welch.
C Justin Brown and Melissa Kudja for Adnan (Appellant), Kathleen C Murphy for State (Appellee).
Witnesses for Adnan: Kevin Urick p13, Rabia Chaudry p33, Shamim Rahman p83.
Four documents were identified as Defense exhibits, but copies were not available with the transcript. Where possible we have linked to a version from another source: D01 notes written by Rabia Chaudry of her meeting with Asia (not admitted), D02 Asia's affidavit from 2000, D03 Mr and Mrs Rahman's letter to Cristina Gutierrez and D04 Mr and Mrs Rahman's letter to Judge Wanda Heard.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Day 2 of Adnan's PCR hearing.
Witnesses for Adnan: Adnan Syed p6, Margaret Mead (expert witness) p63. There were no witnesses for the State.
Closing Arguments: CJ Brown for Adnan p103, KC Murphy for State p114.
Six more Defence exhibits and one State exhibit were mentioned, but again were not available with the transcript: D05 Gutierrez' clerk's notes mentioning Asia, D06 Asia's second letter to Adnan, D07 Asia's first letter to Adnan, D08 Adnan's letter to Gutierrez, D09 Adnan's prison achievement awards, D10 extract of Trial transcript and the single State's exhibit: S01 Gutierrez' alibi notice letter to Urick. It was also agreed the the full trial transcript should be incorporated into the record.
Murphy also notes (p114) that she had already submitted a written response but no details of that are available.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Judge Welch makes a written decision and denies Adnan's petition.

Court of Special Appeals - 2014-2015 - Application for Leave to Appeal the Denial of Post Conviction Relief

Monday, January 27, 2014
Adnan takes his appeal back to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
The first step is filing an Application for Leave to Appeal (ALA) against the recent PCR denial with the Circuit Court.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Eight months later CoSA formally orders the State to respond, and specifically requests that they address whether his attorney asked or did not ask the State's trial counsel about the possibility of a plea deal.
Friday, November 14, 2014
The original deadline for the State to respond to Adnan's Application for Leave to Appeal.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The State files its Response in Opposition to Adnan's ALA. This extension was agreed by CoSA.
The actual attachments are missing. All were already part of the Court's official appeal record. These are alternative copies of the same documents:
1. CoSA Opinion Part 1 and Part 2 Mar 19 2003, 2. Trial Transcript for Feb 25 2000, 3. June 6 2000 sentencing transcript, 4. Nov 29 2010 Motions hearing for PCR, 5. Feb 6 2012 Motions hearing for PCR, 6. Oct 11 2012 PCR hearing Day 1, 7. Oct 25 2012 PCR hearing Day 2.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Adnan files a Supplement to ALA and Request for Remand based upon a new affidavit by Asia McClain.
The six other exhibits are Asia McClain's March 1999 letters, two notes from Gutierrez' files, letter from Adnan's parents to Gutierrez and Asia's 2000 affidavit. All are included in the filing.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The State files a Motion to Strike the Supplement and Request for a Remand.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Adnan files his Response to the State's Motion to Strike and a formal Motion for Leave to File a Supplement to the ALA.
Friday, February 06, 2015
The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland grants Adnan's Application for Leave to Appeal.
Monday, March 16, 2015
The original deadline for the Appellant (Adnan) to file his Appellant's Brief.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Adnan submits his ALA Brief of Appellant.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
The original deadline for the Appellee (the State) to file its Appellee's Brief.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
The revised deadline for the State to file its Brief.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
The State files its Appellee Brief against Adnan's ALA. The appendices were not posted online but we do have a copy of Gutierrez' letter to Urick, the list of possible alibi witnesses.
Monday, May 18, 2015
A three judge panel from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals decide to remand Adnan's case, i.e. send it back to the Baltimore City Circuit Court (BCCC). CoSA is not able to consider new information directly, but the Circuit Court can do and so CoSA is asking them to decide if new information, such as (but not limited to) Asia McClain's testimony, can be heard and added to the formal record.
Monday, June 01, 2015
This date was originally scheduled for a CoSA hearing. Not needed because the case was moved to BCCC by CoSA's Order on May 18.

Baltimore City Circuit Court - 2015 - Consideration of Motion to Reopen the Post Conviction proceedings

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Adnan submits a Motion asking the Baltimore City Circuit Court (BCCC) to Reopen his Post Conviction proceedings (as requested by CoSA).
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
CoSA's deadline for Adnan to submit the Motion to Reopen Proceedings.
Thursday, August 06, 2015
BCCC Chief Judge assigns Judge Martin Welch, who sat on the original Post Conviction hearing, as the judge in Adnan's reopened PC hearing. See the BCCC Order assigning Judge Welch to case.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Adnan files a Supplement to the Motion to Reopen based on new affidavits and information about AT&T cell tower evidence as uncovered by Susan Simpson, Urick's interview with the Intercept, a copy of Part 1 of the interview is also saved as a searchable document on this wiki.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The State's Attorney submitted a Consolidated Response in Opposition to both the Motion to Reopen and the Supplement (published by Baltimore Sun) and Exhibits (published by Adnan's atty Justin Brown)
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Adnan's attorney submitted a Reply to the Consolidated Response including several new documents. In particular Adnan's call logs to 18th Feb and an affadavit from Abraham Waranowitz, who was the State's expert cell phone witness in the original trials.

Baltimore City Circuit Court - 2015-2016 - Reopened PCR proceedings

Friday, November 06, 2015
Judge Welch of the BCCC Ordered that the PCR be reopened. The hearing is to cover a) Asia's testimony and other evidence relevant to that, b) Gutierrez' failure to cross examine the reliability of the cell phone evidence, as well as c) alleged prosecutorial misconduct during the PCR proceedings and d) potential prosecutorial misconduct during trial.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Adnan's attorney Justin Brown tweeted that there was not yet a date set for the hearing.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Deadline for attorneys to contact Court for the purposes of scheduling a hearing.
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
BCCC Court held a status conference and discussed the scheduling with attorneys.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Judge Welch posted an Order scheduling the hearing for Feb 5 and 8 2016 (dates were later amended).
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Deadline for Brown to submit Adnan's list of expert witnesses.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Court dates amended slightly to 4 and 5 Feb (later amended again).
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Deadline for the State has to submit both Fact and Expert Witnesses as well as any written statements. Justin Brown also has to submit Adnan's list of Fact witnesses.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Another status conference. Judge Welch signed an rescheduling order confirming the new dates
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Justin Brown announced on Twitter that an extra day (Wed 3 Feb) has now been added to the hearing dates, as per the Order signed on 12th Jan.
Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Day 1 of Adnan's reopened PCR hearing held in Baltimore City's Circuit Court under Judge Martin Welch.
C Justin Brown and Chris Nieto for Adnan (Appellant), Thiru Vignaragah for State (Appellee).
Opening Statements.
Adnan's Witnesses: 1 Phillip Dantes; 2 William Kanwisher; 3 Asia McClain Chapman.
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Day 2
Adnan's Witnesses: 3 cont. Asia McClain Chapman; 4 Gerald (Jerry) R Grant, expert witness
Friday, February 05, 2016
Day 3 (when the hearing began, this was scheduled as the final day)
Adnan's Witnesses: 5 Sean Gordon; 6 Michelle Hamiel; 7 Dave Irwin (testimony interrupted);
State's Witness: 1 Chad Fitzgerald (called out of order)
Monday, February 08, 2016
Day 4 The hearing was extended.
State's Witness: 1 Chad Fitzgerald, expert witness (cont. from Day 3).
Adnan's Witnesses: 7 David Irwin, expert witness (resumed from Day 3).
State's Witness: 2 "Officer Steve".
Although Abraham Waranowitz and Ja'uan Gordon were ready to be called as Adnan's rebuttal witnesses, Judge Welch asked for written affadavits instead of testimony to save court time.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Day 5 Final day of extended hearing.
Closing Arguments from Brown for Adnan and Vignarajah for the State. Judge Welch then announced that he would produce a written decision.
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Brown asked the Court to add two letters to the official record.
The first is from Vignarajah dated 23 February 2016, written at the request of Prof. Michael Milleman to correct untrue (and unresearched) statements made by Vignarajah about Millemann during the recent hearing. The second is from Prof Millemann to the Court dated 25 February 2016, giving additional context and explaining that Vignarajah had made yet further misrepresentations in the earlier letter of "correction".
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Judge Welch ordered that Adnan's conviction should be vacated and granted Adnan a retrial.
In the full length decision Judge Welch was more expansive. He was not impressed with the State's "hindsight sophistry" and found the self-contradictions of their expert witness, Fitzgerald, "perplexing". He also notes that "Wilds's testimony is inconsistent with the State's adopted timeline". Adnan's Brady claim (about Exhibit 31 not being given to defense) was dismissed, but Gutierrez's performance was acknowledged as ineffective regarding both contacting Asia and cross examining Waranowitz. However, to fulfil the legal definition of unconstitutionally ineffective assistance,there is a second legal hurdle: whether that ineffectiveness would have led to a different outcome. Welch said that was not so regarding Asia and the alibi, because of the timeline issues as above. However, he also found that if Gutierrez had cross-examined Waranowitz somewhat about AT&T's cell-phone location disclaimer, there could well have been a different result because the State relied heavily on this to prove their case and so Adnan should be allowed a retrial.

Court of Special Appeals - 2016-2017- Applications for Leave to Appeal (regarding the retrial decision)

This section also includes events/court filings for Adnan's Bail Application (Motion for Release Pending Appeal) which was happening during the same time as the various ALAs
Friday, July 22, 2016
The State filed a Notice of intent to File Application for Leave to Appeal and Request to Stay Order Granting Post-Conviction Relief.
Monday, August 1, 2016
The State filed an Application for Leave to Appeal (ALA) on the cell phone issue on the final possible day (under MD. Rule 1-203(a)(1)).
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Judge Welch issued an Order staying post-conviction relief (the new trial) while the above appeal is dealt with.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Justin Brown filed a Conditional Application for Leave to Cross Appeal for Adnan regarding the alibi witness issue. This only applies if the State's ALA (August 1) is granted.
Friday, August 22, 2016
The State filed a Conditional Application for Limited Remand with Attachments asking for permission to take the case back once more to the City Circuit Court, so they can add documents to the record on the alibi witness issue. This only applies if Adnan's Conditional Appeal (filed on August 11) is allowed.
There are 134 pages in the "Attachments" and only 11 are actually new to the Court's record in the case. 42 pages are officially on the court record, but have not been previously available to the public, except one page which was tweeted, then deleted by Justin Fenton.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Justin Brown (with associates from Hogan Lovells) filed both a Response to the State's ALA and a Response to the State's Conditional Application for Remand, including Exhibit 1 - Affidavit of [Redacted]
Friday, September 16, 2016
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (MCDAA) have submitted an Amicus Curiae (friends of the court) brief asking CoSA to reject both the State's appeals, saying "with the world watching, the public interest favors a prompt retrial, without an appeal".
Monday, October 3, 2016
The State filed a Consolidated Reply to Adnan's August 11 and September 15 filings above.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
On International Wrongful Conviction Day, another Amicus Curiae brief was filed, this time by the State's Attorneys from 21 of the 24 Maryland Counties. The State's Attorneys from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Cecil County (where Kevin Urick currently works) did not sign.
Unlike recent State filings, this was not reported immediately by Justin Fenton, He did publicise it on October 6 and posted the actual document on October 7.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Adnan's attorney C Justin Brown asked the Baltimore Circuit Court to allow Adnan out of prison on bail on the grounds of no violent behaviour in prison, no flight risk and because the "State’s evidence against Syed...has crumbled in the face of ongoing investigation." 318 pages of supporting Exhibits were presented including Jay Wilds' arrest history, Adnan's school and prison records, and several new affidavits including Dr Leigh Hlavaty noting that time of burial the lividity is not consistent with the State's timeline.
Monday, November 7, 2016
The State of Maryland files their Response to Motion for Release, opposing Adnan's bail request and claiming the Stay issued by Judge Welch precludes bail.
Like many previous State filings (see above) this document misses the deadline. Like earlier State filings, the news became public via Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun. Unlike earlier filings, there is a new author: "Chief Special Counsel" Charlton T. Howard. Unlike most State filings in Thiru Vignarajah's time as lead prosecutor, neither the news or the document became public until 4 days after signature date.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Justin Brown (with associates from Hogan Lovells) posts Adnan's reply which corrects the misquoted Maryland law used the State's Response above. Brown references this document written by Brian Frosh, Maryland Attorney General, in support of Adnan's release.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Judge Martin Welch responds to Adnan's bail request, which will not be allowed "in large part, because of the open status of the case in the appeals court".
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
CoSA allows both the State's appeal and Adnan's appeal - announced by Justin Brown on Twitter
Friday, January 27, 2017
Adnan seeks leave to appeal the denial of his bail motion.

Court of Special Appeals - 2017 to date - State's and Syed's concurrent Appeals

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
CoSA's Order granting both the State of MD and Adnan's Leave to Appeal (re Judge Welch's June 2016 decision).
The order also gives the deadlines for the various briefs and counter briefs and a date for the oral arguments to be heard in Court
Monday, February 27, 2017
State's Appellant Brief was submitted on the deadline
This is the first part of the State's appeal which covers i) should the incoming call location disclaimer have been allowed in 2016 PCR, ii) waiver re cell tower, and iii) Gutierrez' cross exam on cell evidence. There are two versions of the document, one from the CoSA website and another from the Attorney General's office (via Justin Fenton). The differences are fairly superficial, neither includes the 200+ page Appendix referenced within the brief.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Adnan's Appellee Brief was submitted on time. This is the response to the State's Appellant Brief on the cell evidence appeal issues above.
Adnan's Cross Appellant Brief was also submitted on time on the same day. His Cross Appeal is about i) failure to investigate Asia as alibi ii) cumulative prejudice of all attorney errors. The two briefs were submitted together as one document. An Appendix containing selected evidence from the court record was also submitted to COSA but is not publicly available.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Under Rule 8-502 a)3) the State may submit a Reply Brief as a rebuttal to Adnan's Appellee Brief which was itself a response to the State's Appeal. Reply Brief deadlines weren't mentioned in COSA's scheduling Order, but this should have been the deadline, unless COSA ordered otherwise.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Deadline for the State's Cross Appellee Brief (response on Asia / IAC) which was submitted on time. The State submitted a document called Reply Brief and Appendix of Cross Appellee. It combines the State's Reply Brief (see above) on it's own cell evidence Appeal, plus the Cross Appellee response, which is the State's response to Adnan's Asia/cumulative-prejudice Appeal. This version was published by Justin Fenton. Despite the title it does not contain the Appendix. As with the appendices to the earlier briefs, some of those documents referenced are already available on this wiki.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Adnan's team submitted their final filing, the Reply Brief to their Cross Appeal (Alibi/cumulative prejudice).
They met their deadline.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Oral arguments were originally scheduled for this date but a change was announced by Justin Brown on Twitter and later confirmed by COSA.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Oral arguments will start at 2pm at the Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis, Maryland's state capital. Directions here. The official schedule should (eventually) show these changes.
Attorneys from each side will have 20 minutes to make their case to a panel of three COSA judges. Judges asking questions will likely take up most of this time. There will not be any witnesses and both sides must stick to the legal arguments from the filings linked above.
The courts are open to public and press although Adnan himself does not get to attend. Unlike Baltimore City's courts some filming is allowed, it is limited to a "pool camera"which will be shared between various media outlets, hopefully the full video will be available online. The Court of Appeals (based in the same building) automatically provides a webcast of each CoA session, so perhaps they will also post this film?

Court of Special Appeals website includes a "self-representation" guide to the COSA appeals process - helpful for non Marylanders and non lawyers.

Maryland laws can be found online via either or Westlaw or MD General Assembly websites.

The majority of the historical documents were sourced from either the Maryland CoSA website (part of or the blog of Justin Brown (Adnan's attorney), a few were shared anonymously online by multiple different people, others were provided by Rabia Chaudry from the Rahman/Syed's family records
Recent filings were first published by Justin Brown's company blog or his Twitter account (on behalf of Adnan), or for State or pro-State filings, by Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun.

Special thanks to both Colin Miller for his EvidenceProf blog post from December 2014 and theodoreadorno for paving the way with their own similar compilations.