Even though Serial, the world’s most popular podcast, ended last year, lawyers, journalists and Redditors are still trying to determine whether Adnan Syed killed his high school ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1994.
Serial podcast host Sarah Koenig was unable to secure an interview with the prosecutor in Syed’s case, Kevin Urick, on the podcast itself. But the lawyer finally spoke out about the 15-year-old crime story on Wednesday in the first part of a two-part interview with The Intercept, saying that, contrary to the beliefs of many Serial fans, the case was a “run of the mill” domestic violence murder.
As Urick tells it, Syed was rightfully convicted of Lee’s murder. He does not believe anyone else could have committed the crime because the testimony of the prosecution’s chief witness, Jay, lined up with the records of cellphone calls made by him and Syed on the supposed day of the murder.
What about Syed’s apparent lack of a clear motive? “Motive is not an element of the crime and the state does not have to prove motive,” he said. “We can put it out there as an explanation but it’s not essential to prove guilt.”
Urick claimed Sarah Koenig, who reported the case for the podcast, did not reach out to him until less than a week before the podcast’s final episode, and only did so to quiz him on whether he yelled at a witness for not making Syed seem “creepy enough” on the stand. (He claims he did not.)
Julie Snyder, a producer on Serial, told The Intercept that Koenig’s team had actually tried to contact him many times. “We reached out to Kevin Urick multiple times, at multiple locations, during the winter of 2014, about nine months before the podcast began airing,” she said. “Urick did not respond to any of those interview requests.”
The prosecutor told The Intercept he had not responded to a request for interview from Koenig because he didn’t think she would tell his side fairly and he was concerned about “causing any further anguish” for the victim’s family.
Urick also claimed that Asia McLean — a fellow student who wrote to Syed before his initial trial, saying that she remembered seeing him in the library at the time of Lee’s murder — contacted the prosecutor before Syed’s post-conviction hearing to say she was under a lot of pressure from the Syed family.
Read the first part of the full interview here.
UPDATE: Serial has responded in a series of tweets to Urick’s claim that the producers of the show only contacted him once.
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