Hearing transcripts and evidence relating to Adnan Syed’s 2016 reopened Post Conviction / Evidentiary hearing (PCR2).
Before Serial podcast was released, Adnan’s attorney had already submitted a(nother) appeal for Post Conviction Relief (PCR) and after several stages of legal arguments, Judge Martin Welch agreed to reopen the case. A five day hearing was held in February 2016 at the Circuit Court of Baltimore City so that new evidence could be added to the record and the testimony of new witnesses, including Asia McClain, could be heard.
Transcripts and Evidence
This page contains links to the transcripts of that 2016 hearing, testimony from nine witnesses over four and a half days, as well as opening statements, closing arguments, and many bench conferences with the attorneys and Judge Welch. We’ve broken them up into individual witnesses and chunks of argument, to save you from downloading 30MB just to read a few pages. Below the records of each day are details of evidence discussed in Court each day.
Evidence Admitted, and Other Documents
We’ve listed and linked the evidence which was listed on the transcript index as marked or admitted into evidence for each day of the hearing. There were many more documents discussed each day than that, either those that had been admitted earlier in the hearing, or that seem to have been agreed upon outside the court, or testimony from the second trial, or the first PCR hearing, or items already in the Court’s “record” by attachment to a legal filing along the way. The discussions you read on the page often make a good deal more sense if you can refer directly to the evidence, so we have listed and linked all the items that we could find.
Judge Welch asked both parties to submit lists of witnesses and evidence in advance. The defense submitted exhibits PC2-01 to PC2-39, including many items already part of the record. When these are raised in the transcript text they are generally well described and clear references are given, which would have helped the witnesses, Judge Welch, the court Clerk and opposing counsel, and a great help to later readers of the transcripts.
After the defense had made their Opening Argument, the State then produced exhibits they wanted to submit: two files, known as Binder A and Binder B. Their argument, for admission, was that these contained parts of the defense file (Gutierrez’ file) and State’s own records that Gutierrez may have seen (see Day 1 for more details). Although relatively few of the pages were ever referred to, Judge Welch eventually allowed both Binders to be admitted. Many documents referenced by the State are from these binders. Binder page numbers were originally requested and promised, but not always provided, though a page ref is only helpful if, like Judge Welch, you also have the full copy to reference. Descriptions were variable in quality and without the benefit of being in the courtroom to see overhead displays, or having the actual document that was shown to the witness it can be less than clear which file is being referenced.
It seemed possible the Binder B references might match up with State files that were known and had sequential numbering, such as the Baltimore Police MPIA files, and we know from later exhibits, that one MPIA file, from 2015, was indeed used a source for Binder B. Unfortunately cross checks with that MPIA show that the numbers cannot be mapped from one to the other, as hundreds of pages were removed and what remained was reordered. We cannot extrapolate what the unknown pages of Binder B might be.
All these further documents discussed are listed, by day, under Other Evidence Discussed, in order of appearance (bar repeats). Transcript pages are shown in bold after each item, e.g. (p123) but just show when the item was introduced, or reintroduced, not every single page where it was mentioned.
Day 1 – Wednesday 3 February 2016
- Opening Statements and Oral Arguments on evidence, witnesses and sequestration (p1-36)
- Witness 1: Phillip Dantes, friend of Tina Gutierrez (p37-83)
- Witness 2: William Kanwisher, former colleague of Gutierrez
(3 pages for COA) (p84-156)
- Oral Arguments and Court Order re sequestration of Rabia Chaudry (p157-166)
- Witness 3: Asia McClain Chapman, direct and cross part-1 (full text submitted to COA) (p167-277)
Exhibits Marked or Admitted on Day 1:
- Syed Ex. PC2-01 Court of Appeals 1982 Opinion on Cristina Gutierrez’s admission to the bar. Only page 1 of dissent is available. (p49)
- Syed Ex. PC2-07 Affidavit by Asia McClain Chapman, Jan 13, 2015 (p213)
- Syed Ex. PC2-08 Phone records of McClain Chapman, circa April 2010. Not available (p21, p205)
- Syed Ex. PC2-09 Handwritten notes of McClain Chapman re April 10, 2010 phone call with Kevin Urick (p197)
- Syed Ex. PC2-10 Affidavit by William Kanwisher, October 13, 2015. (p102)
- Syed Ex. PC2-11 Pre-trial Notice of Alibi Witnesses by Gutierrez, October 4, 1999 (p106, 121, 136)
- Syed Ex. PC2-38 Asia McClain’s Woodlawn “Hall Pass”, Oct 1998 to May 1999. (p171)
- Syed Ex. PC2-39 Photograph of Woodlawn Campus. Not directly available, but likely the photo from this graphic used at the same hearing. (p172)
- State Ex. 1A (or A-1) Memorandum, A-0195 to A-0202 (from Binder A – see below), Oct 16, 1999 defense memo from Kali to Gutierrez: 8 track team names. 8 copies each with different annotations (p119, p224)
- State Ex. 1B Witness List, A-0326 to A-340. A chart or spreadsheet described variously as “horizontal format” or “vertical format” with typed and handwritten notes about potential witnesses, including Patricia Jessamy and Urick. Not available. (This document is frequently described by State as a “24 page document” but there are only 15 page numbers. (p121, 137)
- State Ex. 1C Task List, A-0261 to A-0266 (from Binder A). 6 page defense team task list with annotations, printed Sep 4, 1999 (p139)
Other Evidence Discussed on Day 1
- PCR1 Transcript, first Post Conviction Hearing: Day 1 Oct 11, 2012, Day 2 Oct 25, 2012 (p42)
- Syed Ex. PC2-02 Notes of Ali Pournader, Gutierrez’ clerk, July 1999. “Asia McClean, 3pm library, boyfriend saw him too” (p109)
- State Ex. Binder A or State Exhibit 1. Binder containing State’s selected, re-ordered and reorganised documents taken from the Gutierrez file CD. Actual exhibit not available. State acknowledges pages from the original were excluded but not which ones or how many (e.g. p.228). The CD of the full Gutierrez defense file was finally submitted on Day 4, following repeated defense objections to the State’s “cull” to produce Binder A. (p114)
- State Ex. Binder B – State exhibit containing a re-ordered and organised selection of State documents including (but not only) Baltimore Police Department MPIA files. The actual exhibit is not available, and unfortunately the ‘Binder B’ page numbers given don’t match up with the ‘MPIA’ page numbers, we cannot extrapolate the unknown parts of this Binder, although we can deduce many hundreds of pages were excluded. (p114)
- State Ex. 2B, this reference is a typo or verbal slip meaning State Ex. 1B (see above) (p137)
- Syed Ex. PC2-04, Asia McClain’s first letter, handwritten, Mar 1999 (p181, p269)
- Syed Ex. PC2-05, Asia McClain’s second letter, typed. Mar 1999 (p187, p269)
- Syed Ex. PC2-06, Asia McClain’s first affidavit. Mar 2000 (p192)
State press conference held outside Courthouse after hearing closed for the day
Statement from family of Hae Min Lee, paper copy distributed by Vignarajah on Feb 3, 2016
Day 2 – Thursday 4 February 2016
- Oral Arguments (p1-18)
- Witness 2: Asia McClain Chapman. Cross cont., redirect, etc. (all submitted to COA) (p19-179)
- Witness 3: Gerald (Jerry) Grant, defense expert in cell phone forensic analysis (p180-292)
Exhibits Marked or Admitted on Day 2:
- Syed Ex. PC2-15 Prosecution copy of AT&T Subscriber Activity Report. Adnan’s phone records, the 5 column, unredacted type showing “cell site”. The exhibit used the very same copy that was attached to the State’s Sept 2015 filing except this exhibit did include the fax cover/instruction sheet, like this copy from the police file. Also see this defense graphic. (p200)
- Syed Ex. PC2-17 4 pages of AT&T records and a certification, presented at trial as State’s Exhibit 31 (p188, p247)
- Syed Ex. PC2-19 Abraham Waranowitz’s first affidavit, Oct 2015 (p214)
- Syed Ex. PC2-21 Gerald Grant’s CV. Not available (p183)
- Syed Ex. PC2-36 List of AT&T list of Maryland Cell Tower addresses. (p208)
- Syed Ex. PC2-40 An AT&T Subscriber Activity Report from the Gutierrez defense files, the 15 column version, although first page with Bilal Ahmed’s Subscriber Information is not in linked copy. (Also see this defense graphic and the prosecution’s full width version from their 2015 filing.) (p197)
- Syed Ex. PC2-42 February 12, 1999 article from the Baltimore Sun which mentions a “shallow grave” (p166)
- Syed Ex. PC2-43 March 1, 1999 article from the Baltimore Sun which mentions “Central Booking” (p168)
- State’s Binder A – State exhibit containing a re-ordered selection from the Gutierrez defense file CD (see Day 1 for details) (p114)
- State’s Binder B – State exhibit containing a re-ordered selection from the Baltimore Police files (see Day 1 for details) (p114)
- State’s Ex. 3. Correspondence between Gutierrez’ office and AT&T. Vignarajah tells the court it is not from the State’s Binders, although it is is is from the Gutierrez file, source for Binder A. Full Exhibit not available, neither are page references, but some parts are described as follows: (p258 to 264)
- A fax from Gutierrez to Terri Kaye of AT&T, dated Oct 11, 1999, asking for information about cell sites mentioned by Waranowitz to the prosecutor Urick. Only the covering letter is available, not the subpoena or fax transmission record.
- A fax response from Waranowitz of AT&T about being an expert witness at trial, date not stated. “My supervisor has received your subpoena”
- Another Gutierrez team fax to Kaye of AT&T, dated one day after the fax above, asking her to “contact Mr. Lambda [Waranowitz’s supervisor] directly ” and enclosing a subpoena “directed to Bill Lamda.” which might be the same one mentioned above.
- Other fax correspondence, described indistinctly but including:
- one dated Oct 12, 1999
- two which enclosed a further subpoena each
- a note for someone at AT&T to contact Mike Lewis rather than Gutierrez
- these descriptions may cover between one and four separate documents.
- A fax dated Dec 7, 1999 from Waranowitz at AT&T to Gutierrez’ office, including some maps and a frequency plan. Pages available: 2 (cell site address list), 3 and 4(maps), and 6, 7, 8, 9 (frequency plans).
Other Evidence Discussed on Day 2
- “Adopted Statements” or Police Notes signed by Steven Mills. Admitted on Day 4 as State Ex. 9 and State Ex. 10 (p7)
- “accompanying materials” – photocopied photo portraits from Woodlawn Yearbooks, admitted on Day 4 as State Ex. 13 and 14. Only p1 of each is available (p7)
- YouTube video by Asia McClain Chapman about search for phone records (p8, p13, p33)
- Syed Ex. PC2-08 Phone records of Asia McClain Chapman, circa April, 2010. Not available (p23)
- Syed Ex. PC2-09 Handwritten notes of Asia McClain Chapman re April 10, 2010 phone call with Kevin Urick (p26)
- PCR1 Testimony of Shamim Rahman, hearing transcript, Oct 11, 2012 (p46)
- PCR1 Testimony of Rabia Chaudry, hearing transcript, Oct 11, 2012 (p46)
- Syed Ex. PC2-07 Second affidavit by Asia McClain Chapman, Jan 13, 2015 (p34, p77, p177)
- Syed Ex. PC2-06 First affidavit by Asia McClain. Mar 2000 (p30, p48)
- Transcripts of the ‘Serial’ podcast Episode 1 page 30. (p83)
- Syed Ex. PC2-04 Asia McClain’s first letter, Mar 2, 1999 () (p84)
- A map of Woodlawn Campus. No reference given, may be the same one marked Syed Ex. PC2-39, possibly from this defense graphic. (p97)
- Syed Ex. PC2-05 Asia McClain’s second letter, Mar 3, 1999 (p104)
- Affidavit for Search Warrant B-0125 to B-0126. The warrant for Adnan’s home was executed Mar 20, 1999) (p140)
- To Do list within bail attorney Flohr’s record of visiting Adnan, A-0531, Mar 6 1999 (p145)
- Syed Ex. PC2-02 Notes of Ali Pournader, Gutierrez’ clerk, July 13 1999. (p145)
- Typed notes of Ja’uan G’s police interview, B-0133, the first page showing date of interview is missing from all copies, but State refers to it as Apr 9, 1999. (p147)
- Syed Ex. PC2-17, a 5 page document admitted at trial and referred to here as State’s Exhibit 31 (p188, p247)
- Syed Ex. PC2-37 p100 and p101 of Abraham Waranowitz, Trial Testimony, Feb 8, 2000 (p190)
- Syed’s demonstrative exhibit re Exhibit 31 (graphics projected at the hearing) (p204)
- “Defense/State Exhibit 10” The CD of the complete Gutierrez defense file. This reference seems to be a mistake or was changed, as the CD was later submitted, on Day 4, as State Ex. 8. (p228)
- “State Ex. 2-A” Vignarajah says this consists of B-0357 to B-0473. i.e. 117 pages from Binder B. Contents include faxes sent between Detective Ritz of Baltimore Police and various people at AT&T. (Skip this deep dive and jump straight to the next exhibit.) The exhibit itself is not available but, from the transcript, we were able to figure out what most of the individual documents, even making a good guess at the page references Vignarajah forgot to give. Spoiler: 33/117 pages were still unaccounted for, thanks Thiru! Also shown are actual MP15 references for the likely source. (p223-242)
- B-0357 to B-0359, probably, (3 pages), a fax from Ritz to AT&T, Feb 16, 1999 and subpoena asking for cell phone records for 443-253-9023 and 13 cell sites (3 pages = MP15 1385-1387)
- B-0358 to B-0377, probably, (20 pages), a fax from AT&T to Ritz, Feb 17, 1999 enclosing cell phone records. The 15 column, redacted version of activity/phone records plus “Subscriber Information” (19 pages MP15 1388-1406). The fax cover shows 20 pages but only 19 are present in the MPIA file.
- B-0378 to B-0383, probably, (6 pages) a fax from Ritz of BPD to AT&T, Feb 20, 1999 “please include a cell site directory” and enclosing Court Order (dated Feb 18, 1999) and fax transmission report (dated Feb 20, 1999) (6 pages = MP15 1410-1415)
- B-0384 to B-0393, probably, (10 pages), a fax from AT&T to Ritz, cell tower directory. Vignarajah says it “has 10 pages accompanying it”. No such 11 page fax exists, but he likely means this 10 page fax from Feb 22. (MP15 1438-1447)
- B-0397 to B-0420 (24 pages), a fax from AT&T to Ritz (same date as previous so likely Feb 22). Adnan’s phone records, the 5 column version. The actual MPIA copy (22 pages, MP15 1416-1437) is very similar but is missing two pages for Jan 12-14. In the BPD file those 2 pages are within another fax, from BPD to AT&T, (2 pages MP15 1479- 1480), but that fax isn’t described here. At one point Vignarajah also says that this document is 27 pages long.
- B-0426 to B-0428, probably, (3 pages)., fax from Ritz to AT&T on Feb 27, 1999, asking for Yaser A’s phone records (3 pages MP15 1448-1450 – redacted)
- B-0429 to B-0446 (18 pages), a fax from AT&T to Ritz enclosing various elements of Yaser A’s cell phone records on Mar 15 (18 pages MP15 1456-1473 – redacted). The original document is 21 pages long, but as the witness pointed out, the State removed 3 pages, 19, 20 and 21. These were MP15 1474-1476, showing Yaser’s call records from 2/19 to 2/26. The missing section is labelled “SUBSCRIBER ACTIVITY” in the 15 col redacted, style like the first fax of Adnan’s records.
- We have assumed that the removal of those 3 pages was a mistake, and that no other subsections of this exhibit were “culled” in the same way, but even so, the combined length is only 84 pages. Which leaves 33 pages unaccounted for, compared to the 117 pages in Vignarajah’s original “B-0357 to B-0473”.
- In this particular section of Binder B it is very clear that the MP15 page numbering jumps back and forth, and the State moved files around. Sometimes the reason for this is apparent, like reordering pages that BPD had taken out of one file to use in another, other times it isn’t clear why. Whatever the intention in practical terms it makes it tricky to establish what the missing 33 pages are because we can’t simply map one file onto the other.
- B-0362 a single page, probably p5, from the 15 column, redacted AT&T records above. (p248)
- Syed’s Ex. PC2-18 Fax from Urick to AT&T, Oct 8 1999. Requesting certification of enclosed fax pages. Pages would become State’s Trial Exhibit 31 after some clean up. (p255)
- Fax from AT&T (Waranowitz) to Gutierrez, Dec 7, 1999. From Defense file Binder A, no page ref given. Only p2, p3 to 4 and p6 to 9 of 9 are available. (p263)
Day 3 – Friday 5 February 2016
- Bench Conference on Scheduling etc (p1-9)
- Witness 5: Sean Gordon, Defense Investigator (p10-76) (3p extract for COA)
- Witness 6: Michelle Hamiel, Librarian (p77-110)
- Witness 7: David Irwin, Expert in Legal Defense, part 1, (p111-164) (6p COA extract)
- Witness 8 (State): Chad Fitzgerald, FBI and Expert in Cell Phone Analysis.
- Fitzgerald Part 1 (direct) (p165-208) and
- Fitzgerald Part 2 (beginning of cross) (p209-305)
Exhibits Marked or Admitted on Day 3:
- Syed Ex. PC2-11 Gutierrez’ Notice of Alibi Witnesses, Oct 1999 (p11)
- Syed Ex. PC2-41 Defense Investigator Sean Gordon’s records of contacts with “Alibi Witnesses”. Not available. (p13)
- Syed Ex. PC2-49 1999 Woodlawn Yearbook Page listing eight male Track Team Medalists (p17)
- Syed Ex. PC2-22-A through D, Maps of Woodlawn Campus. Not available directly, but likely the same maps used in this defense courtroom graphic. (p20)
- Syed Ex. PC2-50 Transcript of Serial Podcast, Episode 5 interview of “Track Buddy Will” at p114 (p27)
- Syed Ex. PC2-13 Gutierrez’ Notes mentioning “Asia in library”, undated (p130)
- Syed Ex. PC2-30 David Irwin’s CV. Not available. (p160).
- Syed Ex. PC2-45 State’s Expert Disclosure Notice from January 2015. Not available (p213) .
- Syed Ex. PC2-48 Email from Waranowitz to Brown, circa 2015 or 2016. Not available (p227, 233).
- Syed Ex. PC2-44 State’s arguments in Opposition to Reopening Post Conviction Proceedings, Sep 23, 2015, page 33. (p243)
- State Ex. 7 Chad Fitzgerald’s CV. Not available. (p174)
- State Ex. 4 Enlargement of ‘How to read “Subscriber Activity” reports’ taken from AT&T Fax Instructions. Coloured marks added by Fitzgerald. Similar to MP15 1416 and others, but all MP15 copies have fax machine marks, this was altered or has another source. (p177)
- State Ex. 5 Enlargement of 15 column “Subscriber Activity” report for 2/16/99 (last page of report). Coloured marks added by Fitzgerald. Source similar to MP15 1390 as above. (p177, 241, 254)
- State Ex. 6 Enlargement of 5 column “Subscriber Activity” report for 1/13/99 (middle of report). Coloured marks added by Fitzgerald. Source similar to MP15 1480 as above. (p177)
Other Evidence Discussed on Day 3
- State Ex. A-0230, defense memo about contacting witnesses and subpoenas, printed Dec 15 with further, handwritten notes. (p32, 71)
- State Ex. A-0222, defense memo about witnesses, printed Dec 15 with further, handwritten notes. (p40)
- State’s Ex. A-0195 to A-0202. Defense memo about 8 track team members, Nov 16, 1999. 8 different copies with typed and handwritten additions. (admitted on Day 1 as State’s Ex. 1A) (p50)
- A Defense “Witness List” with 24 pages, apparently one page per witness. Not available. Binder reference uncertain. State’s Counsel says, with confidence, that it is State’s Ex. 1B (p64) and a few minutes later, and without correction, that it is State’s Ex. 1A (p68). Both those names were marked and entered into evidence on Day 1. 1B was admitted Binder A A-0326 to A-0340, fifteen pages, (see Day 1 p121, 137) but Vignarajah does also refers to it as having 24 pages. 1A was defined as A-0195 to A-0202, only eight pages (see Day 1 p119-121). Shome mishtake, shurely. (p64, 68)
- State’s Ex. A-0284 to A-0292. A 9 page defense “Witness List” in “vertical format” with Urick and Jessamy shown on page 1. (p65, 67). Not available.
- Serial podcast’s interview of Michelle Hamiel, Woodlawn librarian Episode 1, transcript page 25 (p95)
- Syed Ex. PC2-02 Notes of Ali Pournader, Gutierrez’ clerk, July 1999. “Asia McClean, 3pm library, boyfriend saw him too” (p130)
- Syed Ex. PC2-04, Asia McClain’s first letter, handwritten, Mar 1999 (p132) Syed Ex. PC2-05, Asia McClain’s second letter, typed. Mar 1999 (p135)
- Syed Ex. PC2-06, Asia McClain’s first affidavit. Mar 2000 (p137)
- Syed Ex. PC2-07 Second affidavit by Asia McClain Chapman, Jan 13, 2015 (p137)
- Syed Ex. PC2-11 Pre-trial Notice of Alibi Witnesses by Gutierrez, October 4, 1999. (p151)
- Syed Ex. PC2-27 p26 of Sgt Joseph O’Shea, Trial Testimony, Feb 8, 2000 (p154)
- First day of Trial Testimony, Abraham Waranowitz. Feb 8, 2000 (p218)
- Second day of Trial Testimony, Abraham Waranowitz. Feb 9, 2000 (p218)
- Syed Ex. PC2-15 Prosecution copy of AT&T Subscriber Activity Report. Adnan’s phone logs with “cell site that’s not redacted” (5 column version) (p219, 241, 263)
- Syed Ex. PC2-46 Excerpt, page 99 of Abraham Waranowitz, Trial Testimony, Feb 8, 2000 (p223)
- Syed Ex. PC2-17, 5 pages from AT&T, admitted at Trial as State’s Exhibit 31 (p253)
- Defense’s graphic projected during the hearing, demonstrating the “helicopter calls” made on Jan 16 (p263)
- Syed Ex. PC2-36 List of AT&T Maryland Cell Tower addresses (p265)
- Syed Ex. PC2-40 An AT&T Subscriber Activity Report from the Gutierrez defense files, the redacted version. (p272)
Weekend – Sunday 7 February 2016
Vignarajah’s “Super Bowl Sunday” Press Conference for the State
Statement from Asia McClain’s attorney Gary Proctor, in response to press enquiries following State’s press conference
Day 4 – Monday 8 February 2016
This page is a work in progress, we will update and expand the sections below when we can.
Evidence Marked or Admitted on Day 4:
- “State Exhibit 12” The CD of the complete Gutierrez defense file. This reference appears to be another mistake, according to several other references in the transcript this CD is actually State Exhibit 8. (p27)
Other Evidence Discussed on Day 4
Day 5 – Tuesday 9 February 2016
Evidence Marked or Admitted on Day 5:
Other Evidence Discussed on Day 5
Post-hearing press conferences
- Vignarajah for State – on street outside Courthouse
- Brown and Nieto for Adnan – at their offices
- Vignarajah for State – at the Attorney General’s Office
Media coverage and videos are available via Media Coverage page, links will be added here in due course.
We’d especially like to thank all the people who helped us collect these files, particularly members of the press who covered the hearing in articles, newscasts, YouTube and Periscope videos, and of course the “live” tweeting throughout the hearing, which gave people far away from Baltimore access to highly detailed, almost line by line, coverage. Some particularly high stamina credit is due to Jessie da Silva, Christian Schaffer, Justin Fenton, Mariam Khan, Seema Iyer and Amelia McDonnell Parry who all attended and reported throughout the entire 5 day hearing.
Elsewhere on the wiki we have collated links to the best media coverage of this hearing and of the press conferences.