2016 PCR Hearing

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

Hearing Transcript

Exhibits Marked or Admitted on Day 1:

  • 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

Hearing Transcript

Exhibits Marked or Admitted on Day 2:

  • 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

Day 3 – Friday 5 February 2016

Hearing Transcript

Exhibits Marked or Admitted on Day 3:


Other Evidence Discussed on Day 3

Weekend – Sunday 7 February 2016

Vignarajah’s “Super Bowl Sunday” Press Conference for the State

Statement from Hae Min Lee’s family and Attorney General’s Office

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.

Hearing Transcript

  • TBC

Evidence Marked or Admitted on Day 4:

  • TBC
  • “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)
  • TBC

Other Evidence Discussed on Day 4

  • TBC

Day 5 – Tuesday 9 February 2016

Hearing Transcript

  • TBC

Evidence Marked or Admitted on Day 5:

  • TBC
  • TBC

Other Evidence Discussed on Day 5

  • TBC

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.