Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Throughout the appeal in the Adnan Syed case, the State has claimed that the prosecution's argument at trial that Adnan Syed killed Hae Min Lee by 2:36 P.M. was just its "best" theory of the case and that it just as easily could have argued a different theory of the case. The only alternate theory of the case that it has advanced, however, is that the 3:15 P.M. call on Adnan's call log was the "come and get me" call as opposed to the 2:36 P.M. call. Judge Welch, of course, refuted this argument in footnote 9 of his opinion granting a new trial based upon the number of events in Jay's narrative between the "come and get me" call and the 3:21 P.M. call he made to Jenn, ostensibly to look for Patrick. Until re-listening to the oral arguments in the case today, however, I hadn't noticed an even bigger problem for the State.
Here's Thiru Vignarajah, trying to resurrect the 3:15 P.M. "come and get me" call during oral arguments:
Thiru is correct that Jay mentioned this "two call" scenario before trial. Specifically, he testified to it at the first trial:
So, the State's "best" alternate theory is that Adnan called Jay at 2:36 P.M. to tell him that he was leaving school and then later made the "come and get me" call at 3:15 P.M. According to the State, this solves any issues that would have been created by Asia testifying and still would have allowed the jury to find Adnan guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Except...as Thiru himself notes in the above audio clip, Asia testified that she saw Adnan at the library until 2:40 P.M. And, of course, Judge Welch found this testimony to be credible. Therefore, the State's "best" alternate theory has the same problem as the State's "best" theory: It still requires the jury to believe that Adnan was making a phone call to Jay (2:36 P.M.) at the same time that Asia says Adnan was having a conversation with him her in the library (2:20-2:40 P.M.).