District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City

Arrest Warrant and Statement of Charges 28 February 1999
Initial Appearance, 28 February 1999

Where was Adnan held after his arrest?

After his arrest on 28 Feb 1999, it was widely known that Adnan was taken to "Central Booking" aka the Central Booking Intake Center, on 300 E. Madison St. The 300 E. Madison St is the actual Center address, although there is also a property pick-up address nearby at "301 E. Eager St".

On 1 March Adnan was moved to the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC) according to this 7 page log from BCPD files which also includes visitors logs and court appearances. BCDC is located at "401 E. Eager St".

1999 - Applying for Bail after arrest

District Court of Maryland for Baltimore

1 March 1999. Judge Hargrove presided, but no direct record of the hearing is available. State was represented by ASA Barbara Richmond (transliterated as Richman in Chris Flohr's notes) and Chief of Homicide Division Mark Cohen. Detectives Ritz and MacGillivary were also present. Adnan's date of birth was incorrectly stated, making him appear to be 18 years old, so he was judged as an adult and as if this were a capital case.

9 March 1999. After the hearing attorney Douglas Colbert writes to Judge Hargrove, for reconsideration of No Bail status

Circuit Court for Baltimore City

31 March 1999 Transcript of Bail Hearing, Judge David Mitchell. Adnan is represented by Doug Colbert (with Chris Flohr). The State is represented by Vickie Wash (also present throughout was Mark Cohen, Chief of Homicide Division at the SAO and Detectives Ritz and MacGillivary). The date of birth error was resolved, but the State was later forced to apologise for the racist arguments Wash used at this hearing.

1 April 1999 Judge David Mitchell's Denial of Bail. In 2016, the State attempted to use this decision in its opposition to a Motion for Bail, pending the retrial. Judge Welch gave that short shrift, noting the decision was informed by the State's misleading "xenophobic and a gendered, cultural stereotype of Pakistani men....made without any basis in fact" and finding that those problems were "so egregious that it negate[d] the circuit court giving that bail decision any weight".

14 April 1999. Colbert contacts Harry Marshall, Senior Legal Advisor - Office of International Affairs U.S. Department of Justice about the claims which Wash said Marshall had made about a pattern of absconding Pakistani men. Marshall refused to comment, but immediately afterwards he tries to contact Wash (as noted by Wash here).

Court of Special Appeals

14 April 1999. Colbert applies to the Court of Special Appeals asking them to review Judge Mitchell's "No Bail" decision (noted by Colbert here).

21 April 1999. Wash writes to Judge Mitchell to "correct the record" about "two of the statements [she] made to court" during Adnan's bail hearing and apologizing for misleading the Court.

22 April 1999. Colbert writes to Patricia Jessamy, the elected State's Attorney for Baltimore City, asking to discuss ASA Vickie Wash's "improper and erroneous assertions concerning Mr. Syed’s nationality, ethnicity, ancestry, and religion" and describing Wash's presentation as "wholly outside the boundaries of proper argument."

3 May 1999. Colbert submits a Motion to CSA asking them to add Vicky Wash's "correction" to the record.

2016 - Applying for Bail after the retrial is granted

Circuit Court for Baltimore City

24 October 2016. After Adnan's conviction was overturned in 2016, his attorney C Justin Brown applied for Adnan to get bail, submitting a Motion for Release Pending Appeal (with exhibits of additional supportive evidence including Jay Wild's subsequent police/court records and a pathologist report disproving the State's claimed burial time). Broadly the grounds are Adnan's exemplary behaviour, community support and because the "State’s evidence against Syed...has crumbled in the face of ongoing investigation." A breakdown of the exhibits provided in support can be found on this separate wiki page.

7 November 2016. State of MD filed their Response to Motion for Release, opposing Adnan's bail request. There was (temporarily) a new lead attorney, "Chief Special Counsel" Charlton T. Howard. The State's brief quoted the Maryland Criminal Code § 7-109(b)(2) but somehow replaced the word "AND" with "OR", and subsequently tried to persuade the Court that this misquoted law meant that bail for Adnan could not legally even be considered.

18 November 2016. Justin Brown submitted Adnan's Reply to the recent "Response" from the State to the Baltimore City Circuit Court. Amongst other things he was able to clarify the current Maryland Criminal Code § 7-109(b)(2).

28 December 2016. Judge Martin Welch responded that Adnan will not be allowed out on bail. Welch believed he didn't have the authority due to the pending CSA Appeals, and also because he wanted to demonstrate "an overabundance of caution" with respect to the rules he said apply in this case and the seriousness of the charges. He also formally ruled out any consideration (as requested by the State) of the decision from the March 31,1999 bail hearing, because of Vickie Wash's arguments for the State which Welch found were "xenophobic and a gendered, cultural stereotype of Pakistani men....made without any basis in fact", he noted that those problems were "so egregious that it negate[d] the circuit court giving that bail decision any weight".

2016 - Applying for Leave to Appeal the denial of Bail

27 January 2017. Justin Brown submitted an Application for Leave to Appeal (ALA) which is still pending a decision, likely dependent on the CSA Judges decision following the June 2017 hearings at the Court of Special Appeals. The legal journey up and down the Maryland court system for this case has been unique and there is no established procedure to be followed at this point.

More information about the bail process can be found at the EvidenceProf Blog (see our index) and in various Undisclosed Podcast episodes including Season 1, Episode 7 and Addendum 7 (discussing 1999 events) and Series 2: Bonus Episode: Bail (2016 application for Bail) and Bonus Addendum: Conditions of Release (featuring Chris Flohr discussing both the original and new Bail applications).

Further information

Some other files from the time when Douglas Colbert and Chris Flohr were representing Adnan were included in the files of the next defense attorney, Maria Cristina Gutierrez hired to prepare for Adnan's trial. During the February 2015 PCR hearing in Baltimore it was agreed that Gutierrez's entire files should be submitted as evidence. It became part of the official court records for this case. The folder is apparently several hundred pages and includes some of Flohr and Colbert's files, but it has not been publicly released. The prosecution did publish a very partial selection during the subsequent Court of Special Appeals process, and details of those files can be found on a separate wiki page.
xenophobic and a gendered, cultural stereotype of Pakistani men. That such an argument was made without any basis in fact, and potentially considered by the judicial officer in determining flight risk, is so egregious that it negates the circuit court giving that bail decision any weight in this matter, though there may have been other compelling evidence as to risk of flight.