Wednesday, April 29, 2015
In the wake of the second episode of the Undisclosed Podcast, I've received many e-mails speculating that there might have been a Woodlawn wrestling match on January 13, 1999, despite the fact that no such game was reported in the newspaper. Maybe, for instance, it was a re-scheduled match after an earlier match was cancelled due to poor weather. Maybe it was a junior varsity match, despite the Woodlawn yearbook making no mention of a JV wrestling team in 1999. Maybe Hae was the one who was supposed to report the score to the newspaper. My best guess is still that there was no Woodlawn wrestling match on January 13, 1999, as originally asserted by Susan Simpson in this blog post.
That said, if there were a Woodlawn wrestling match on January 13, 1999, guess whose recollection of that day becomes much more important? Debbie. You might recall that, in her statement on March 26, 1999, she recalls talking to Adnan about going to track practice at about 2:45 and then talking with Hae Min Lee some time between 2:45 and 3:15. In the conversation with Hae, "Takera" asks Hae for a ride, and Hae turns her down because she has to pick up her cousin and has no time to give a ride.
I've noted before that I think Debbie had the wrong day, but, if Woodlawn did have a wrestling match on January 13, 1999, there's a very good chance that Debbie had the right day. You see, in her statement, Debbie makes reference to Hae having to go to a game on January 13th, but her statement about the game is pretty garbled:
Most people assume that "rustling" means wrestling, and I'm inclined to agree. So, if Woodlawn indeed had a wrestling match on January 13th, that would make it the only day in early January 1999 that Woodlawn had both track practice and a wrestling match. Therefore, Debbie would likely be remembering the right day. And, if Debbie was remembering the right day, I think the case against Adnan Syed is actually weaker.
[Update: I'm already getting questions about what effect hypothetical new information about a wrestling match on 1/13 would have on Adnan's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel based on failure to contact Asia McClain. My response is as follows: What actually happened is irrelevant to the ineffective assistance claim. What matters is what was presented at trial. At trial, both a witness for the prosecution (Inez) and a witness for the defense (Becky) said they saw Hae leaving school in a hurry between 2:15 and 2:20; the prosecution also claimed that Hae was dead within 21 minutes of leaving school and that the Best Buy call was at 2:36. Asia saying she left Adnan behind in the library at 2:40 has all of the legal relevance in the world based upon the evidence/argument presented at trial. If Summer and/or Debbie are right about date and time, Asia is factually irrelevant but legally still very relevant].