Monday, April 1, 2019
In last night's fourth (and final) episode of HBO's "The Case Against Adnan Syed," there was quite possibly a major revelation. The HBO team was able to talk with Jay Wilds in January 2019, and, among other things, he told them the following:
This chyron is correct in a sense: Jay did not mention this event in his February 28th police interview, his March 15th police interview, his March 18th ride along, his testimony at trial #1, his testimony at trial #2, or his interview with the Intercept. That said, what Jay told the HBO team is the very first thing he told police. It's also apparently something that Adnan told to the defense team. And, if true, it has major ramifications for Adnan's case.
In the pre-interview, before the detectives turned on the tape recorder on February 28th, Jay said the following:
Yes, that's right. Jay's very first version of events had him going to Woodlawn High School at 3:00pm on January 13th and meeting his girlfriend Stephanie in the back lot. Adnan referenced something similar in a statement he made to one of Cristina Gutierrez's clerks:
I discussed this is a prior blog post, candidly admitting that there were versions of Jay's possible visit to Woodlawn that could be helpful or harmful for Adnan. Jay's comment to the HBO team (which we don't have verbatim due to two part consent law) makes Jay's possible visit to Woodlawn look helpful. Very helpful. Why?
It certainly appears that Jay is saying that he made the independent decision to return the car to Adnan at Woodlawn High School but then left when he couldn't find him. Ostensibly, Adnan later found out about Jay's visit to Woodlawn after the fact from Jay himself (or possibly even later from the notes of Jay's pre-interview).
So, why would this be major? First, it means that Jay's story about the afternoon is lie...and also explains that lie. When Jay spoke to police, the prevailing theory was that Hae was last seen alive by Debbie at Woodlawn High School at about 3:00pm. If Jay did in fact go to Woodlawn at about 3:00pm, he could be implicated in her murder. Therefore, he needed an alibi. And he had one. Jenn largely corroborated Jay's story that Jay was at her house until about 3:40pm whereupon he left after (not) getting the "come and get me" call.
If Jay instead went to Woodlawn on his accord at 3:00pm, then Jay is a liar and Jenn is either also a liar or horribly mistaken. In other words, Jay's story is out the window, and Jenn is, once again, removed as any type of meaningful corroboration for Jay.
If Jay's story is true, it also means that the 2:36pm call could NOT have been the "come and get me" call. Indeed, Jay's story about his visit to Woodlawn refutes the idea of a "come and get me" call altogether because it makes it look like Jay had no idea what to do with Adnan's car as opposed to be there being a plan for Adnan to call him when he was ready to be picked up. In other words, the State's entire crime narrative is gone, along with things like "The Nisha Call."
Moreover, if Jay's pre-interview statement is true, Jay spoke with Stephanie at Woodlawn at 3:00pm. This means that she might have something meaningful to say about that afternoon beyond anything she said back in 1999.
I used to think that Jay visiting Woodlawn on the afternoon of January 13th was a long shot. But now, with Jay's story coming full circle, I kind of believe him on this point. But that also means I don't believe him on a lot of others.